Deep thought: The three things you can’t talk about

Talk about sex, money, and failure

Talk about sex, money, and failure

This is something kinda interesting to me, so I thought I’d do a quick post about it.

If you really get down to it, there are three things that basically explain life:

Sex: This begins it.

Failure: This is what you learn from, give or take.

Money: This is what you need to live, at least in a capitalism.

Now think about those three items — sex, failure, and money — and think about what else they have in common.

They are three things people, especially middle-class people, are trained never to talk about with others. 

If you talk about sex, you can be branded/deemed a whore, a slut, a floozy, someone loose, someone uncouth, etc.

If you talk about failure, most people will just stare at you. Failure explains so many things, and yet we almost never discuss it at work.

If you talk about money, that’s down-market/uncouth. We’re still at a place where people are terrified to list realistic salaries.

Of course, you can add death to this — another thing people aren’t comfortable discussing — and you come to the concept behind the successful podcast Death, Sex, and Money. So there are a few people out there discussing it.

It’s interesting to me that we’re so comfortable with small talk but it’s so hard for us to discuss some topics that are really core and essential to how we operate as humans and how we move through life. I know it’s all about easy and the path of least resistance, and maybe the true definition of “friendship” is/are the people you can discuss this stuff with, but … I think it’s nonetheless interesting. How we can preach about issues like trust and transparency if those don’t fully exist within our day-to-day society and interactions?

At a certain point, it’s all going to sound like buzzwords, right?

What do you think: do you find these three topics “off-limits” or can you engage in dialogue around ’em? 

Ted Bauer


  1. “Off-limits” is my favorite. Such an effective filtration system to get to the authentic connection with other humans (see also: the only stuff worth spending time on). Good stuff here, buddy.

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