#97: Sex and the Researcher

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me and paulina

This week, we learn about circumcision and find out what it’s like to work in a sex lab. What’s the room like? Does it get awkward, or does the lab coat give you magical protections from social unease? Two sex researchers take us behind the curtain.

Okay, here’s the controversial part. Jenn Bossio talks to us specifically about her research on circumcision. She’s trying to find out what, if anything, circumcision does to penises. Does it affect their arousal patterns, the way blood flows through the penis when its attached human gets turned on? Do they become super sensitive penises? Or does all that neonatal pain make them numb to the world? Important questions for anyone interested in the ethics of circumcision. We take a stand. Let us know if it angers you or if you’re on board!

Music in this episode:

Lillix – Dance Alone
Star & Micey – So Much Pain
Jill Barber – Chances
Israel Singers – Hava Nagila Hora Medley

#96: Decisions, Decisions

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Samantha Joel studies the psychology of relationship decisions: those frustratingly complex choices that can have lifetime consequences. She tells us what the research has to say about decisions like asking someone out, or moving in with your partner. She tells us how we can harness the power of science to make better decisions, and how she’s putting her money where her mouth is by using research-based wedding vows for her upcoming nuptials.

Theme music, as always, by Drew Danburry. Additional music this week by DanSternofBeyer.

#95: Sex and Disability

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17 years ago, doctors found a benign tumour in John Killacky’s spine. They told him he would be out of the hospital in a few days and have a sore neck for a month, but when he woke up he was paralyzed from the neck down. We speak to John,  as well as Andrew Morrison-Gurza,  about sex, disability, and feeling wanted.

I interviewed Andrew and John originally for this piece in Xtra. The beautiful picture of Andrew (above) was the work of photographer N Maxwell Lander, commissioned by Xtra. As for the article, I wasn’t totally happy with the way it turned out. I was trying so hard to be a “good ally” that it ended up angry and ranty in a way that my interviewees themselves were not – which is why it’s nice to give them a chance to speak for themselves.

Music:

Sean Jones – No Need For Words

This Will Destroy You – Quiet

Joan Chamorro & Andrea Motis – Feeling Good

Marie-Andree Ostiguy – Valse in D Flat Major – Minute, Op. 64 #1 en Re bemol majeur

Joan Chamorro & Andrea Motis – Moon River

#94: Taming the Monsters

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Dr. James Cantor

Dr. James Cantor studies the brains of pedophiles. He’s found statistical similarities among them, things like low IQ and left-handedness – and these similarities seem to indicate that pedophilia is already in the brain at birth. Based on these findings and those of other researchers, he advocates for a shift away from the current punishment-based way of dealing with pedophiles towards a model of prevention and psychological treatment. JP talked to him about his MRI research, “gold-star pedophiles”, and new ways of keeping our kids safe.

Theme music, as always, by Drew Danburry. Other music by SoundCloud users Skits So Frantic and DanByerofStern.

#93: Mind Your Mind

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Carol Dweck is a professor of psychology at Stanford University, and the author of Mindset. The book aims to help overcome the mental blocks that can stand in the way when it comes to dating, relationships, and more. She provides a lot of valuable advice – and even shares how an imaginary man named Maurice helped her achieve a more harmonious marriage.

Theme music as always by Drew Danburry. Other music this week by Skits So Frantic and DanSternofBeyer.

#92: Splendour in the Grasslands

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Much to our disappointment, lobsters don’t really mate for life – just a week or two of procreation, and then they move on – but one of the greatest* love stories is happening in grasslands all over the American Midwest and the Canadian Prairies. We talk to Professor Mohamed Kabbaj about his research with prairie voles, and to each other about science’s quest to demystify love.

Music this week:

Heather Mac Rae – I Choose Love

Joan Chamorro and Andrea Motis – Feeling Good

Ella Fitzgerald – Night and Day

*if defined by the relationship lasting a lifetime, a monogamish lifestyle, and an abundance of snuggling

#91: Modern Dating

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This week JP talks with Chiara Atik, the dating expert at HowAboutWe, and the author of Modern Dating: A Field Guide. Chiara shares some great common sense dating tips and provides advice on navigating things like sexting, taking naked pics, and one night stands.

Theme music, as always, by Drew Danburry. Additional music this week by DanSternofBeyer.

#90: Earthquakes and Lightning Bolts

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Description and music credits coming soon!

#89: Like a Prayer

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This week we talk religion with Ralph Carl Wushke, the Ecumenical Chaplain at the University of Toronto. We aren’t religious ourselves, but we figured Ralph could pass along some dating and relationship wisdom that anyone can apply. We also asked him about marriage, being gay in the church, and um… what “ecumenical” means…

Theme music as always by Drew Danburry. Other music this week by Szai, pocketjawa, jhampton, DJ Junks, and eugenkiss.

#88: One More Thing

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Carol’s boyfriend chose a very bad day to break up with her. We discuss whether it’s okay to be a little bit cruel when you end a relationship. Local girlfriend and snail lover Sonal P. weighs in.

This graph shows break-up frequency over the calendar year, based on Facebook status changes. Seems most people agree Christmas really is a bad time, while Valentine’s Day is kinda okay. Sadly, this can’t tell us if there’s any consensus on the birthday dump. Your thoughts?

Music this week:

“Hang on Little Tomato” by Pink Martini

“Jungle Love” by Matt Hirt

“Baby Baby I Should Have Known” by Jimmy & The Rackets

Image by Photochiel, creative commons, on Flickr.