Sex, Pleasure & Intimacy in the Time of Capitalism

Tishk Barzanji

Sex has been a taboo topic for over a century since the Victorian era. When we do talk about sex, we usually talk about how to have safer sex and birth control. But what about pleasure? What about deeply connecting with someone? What about intimacy? What about RADICAL LOVE?

80 years and tens of millions of dollars in research at Harvard point to one thing: “happiness is love”. Healthy, happy relationships are literally life-saving and humans are hard-wired for connection. Despite mounting evidence from psychology to neuroscience that reveals how much humans need each other to survive and thrive, many people struggle with creating intimate and meaningful relationships. In a world that’s overwhelmingly hyperconnected through technology, nearly half of Americans said that they felt lonely, isolated from others or left out. 

Myths about gender and sexuality prevent us from expressing our authentic selves as well as deeply connecting with one another.  How are we socialized to behave, think, and feel about our sexual lives, our sexual pleasure, and our relationships? Let’s talk about what’s getting in the way of deep connection and how they’re all linked. 

This Olio explores how politics, money, power, and toxic masculinity are barriers to some of the most fulfilling aspects of our lives: our connections. Let’s think of new possibilities for community by strengthening how we relate to ourselves and each other.  




Location: Strand Bookstore

828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

The Rare Book Room at Strand Bookstore boasts an elegant venue for our Friday night residency.




Interdisciplinary Learning with the Best Professors


Think Olio is not about learning a new skill or adding credentials to your resume. It is about getting together with other people and expanding our worldview. It exists as a conduit for fruitful discussions, a dissent from the regurgitation of facts, and an embrace of new perspectives.


Learn about joining the Scenius for $10 / month



Other upcoming Olios


May 22

The Holy Fool

Taught by Geoff Klock
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

May 22

Stoicism in a World out of Your Control

Taught by Massimo Pigliucci
7:30 p.m. at The Assemblage | NoMad

Sign Up - $20

May 25

OlioHouse | The Production of Nature

Taught by Lauren Hudson
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

May 29

Composing Beauty: Mapplethorpe’s Quest for Perfection

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7 p.m. at BAM Fisher

Sign Up - $20

May 30

Painting the Apocalypse: Haring, Basquiat and the Eighties

Taught by Charles Riley
7 p.m. at The William Vale Hotel

Sign Up - $20

Jun 2

New York City: From Reconstruction to Universal Rent Control

Taught by Lauren Hudson
2 p.m. at Grant's Tomb

Sign Up - $0

Jun 8

OlioHouse | Words, Labels, & Power

Taught by Jeanne Proust
2 p.m. at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Jun 14

The Emergence of Sexuality

Taught by Jamie Warren
7 p.m. at The Assemblage | NoMad

Sign Up - $20

Jun 23

Female Power and Desire in Shakespeare after #MeToo

Taught by Christina Katopodis
1 p.m. at Threes Brewing // Greenpoint

Sign Up - $15

Jun 26

Jun 29

OlioHouse | Happiness & Hedonism

Taught by Skye Cleary
2 p.m. at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Sep 19

OlioTrip | Cienfuegos, Cuba

Taught by Teresita Levy
10 a.m. at Cienfuegos, Cuba

Sign Up - $


Find out when we launch new classes!