Doug Block has over two decades of experience filming weddings, and he’s always been curious what happens in the years that follow that big day. In his new documentary, 112 Weddings, Doug revisits some of the couples that he’s followed down the aisle (along with the no-longer-coupled). The movie flashes from the fantasy of the wedding day to the reality of married life in an instant (it’s really something to see). In this episode, Doug shares what he’s learned about marriage, as well as some of the challenges he faced in making the film. You can see 112 Weddings yourself on HBO, in June 2014.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Description and music credits coming soon!
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…