Nov 072012

As some of you might recall, I recorded a 90-minute podcast on “Finding Good Prospects for Romance and Friendship” in June 2010. (Its creation was funded by pledges.) Last week, I moved it over to I’m now offering it for sale for $20.

About the Podcast

Many people lament the difficulty of finding good prospects for a lasting, deep, and happy romance. Others have trouble finding worthwhile friends. Yet most people who bemoan the lack of prospects could be doing much more than they are to increase their odds of success. Too many people don’t adopt a purposeful approach but instead wait passively… and complain. This podcast discusses how to make yourself a good prospect — and how to find good prospects — for romance and friendship.

The structure of podcast:

  • Opening remarks
  • A bit of theory:
    • Types of social relationships, visualized as a target
    • Major axes of compatibility in relationships
  • Practical advice:
    • Make yourself a good prospect
    • Expand your social network
    • Engage with other people
    • Cultivate your social skills
  • Questions and answers from pledgers:
    • How can a person get better at evaluating other people’s characters when meeting them?
    • When should I reveal a psychological problem like bipolar disorder to someone I’m dating?
  • Closing remarks

Remember, the podcast doesn’t just concern finding good prospects for romance but also for friendship. So even if you’re happily attached, you’ll likely find the techniques of use.

Purchase the Podcast

This podcast is now available for purchase for $20. You can pay online via Dwolla or PayPal. Or you can send a check or money order via the US Mail, including with your bank’s bill pay service. If you want to pay by some other method, choose “Other” below and explain in the comments. I recommend using Dwolla: it’s a payment system with lower fees, stronger security, and better interface design than PayPal. A Dwolla account is free and easy to create.

Terms of Sale: You may share the podcast with members of your household, but not beyond that. Do not ever post the podcast in any public forum.

Item:Podcast: Finding Good Prospects for Romance and Friendship ($15)
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Praise for the Podcast

The response to the podcast has been very positive, including the following remarks:

I can’t tell you how valuable I’ve found your podcast on romantic relations! To start, and as you mentioned yourself, it was just as applicable and valuable to more ‘ordinary’ relations. Simply thinking of the relations you have with people in terms of acquaintances/friends/close friends and whether the time and effort you spend is in line with your values is a powerful tool.

You mentioned the danger of limiting judgement in romance to a purely ‘sense of life’ level, and I think you struck on the biggest problem most people, myself included, have with romance! Really analyzing your own values and how they mesh, or clash, with others is vitally important in even casual friendships, and not carrying that over to romantic relationships leads, well, nowhere!

And the simplest advice of all, “doing nothing is a recipe for getting nothing!” It’s good to be reminded that identifying ourselves as Objectivists doesn’t automatically make us immune from the dangers of following our guts over our heads, or being passive! We still have to act, so thank you for your work in applying excellent principles to the actions all too many of us leave to chance!


Since downloading Diana’s podcast on Finding Romantic Prospects, I’ve listened to it no less than four times. It’s so inspiring and motivational – I love it!! What’s really cool for me is that it’s about way more than finding romantic prospects (I’m married, so that’s not an issue).

I am an introvert who happily coasts along in her comfort zone by hiding in the background at social gatherings, listening to conversations without jumping in, reading email lists and blog posts without commenting, avoiding speaking with people I don’t know — kind of a more passive take on the world, more observing and less engaging. Once in a while I try to break out of my shell – and Diana’s podcast has given me great motivation to break out of my shell, take some risks, challenge myself, put myself “out there” and get out of my comfort zone! Now I’m implementing ways to push myself to be more outgoing and connected — like signing up for Toastmasters, working on my introduction emails for the OLists, approaching and talking to strangers at parties and in various settings, jumping in on OList discussions and various blogs.

Diana’s podcast is the best kick-in-the-butt I could have imagined to expand my social network, improve myself to get myself together, take control of my and get out there!! That is worth so much more than what I paid, and I’m looking forward to her next one!


I found this podcast very useful in my life. I put it to work at OCON [in 2010] and found that I had Diana’s voice in my head many many many times throughout the conference. OCON was FILLED with social situations where I was surrounded by new people (I have always been an introvert when in comes to environments like that) but instead of feeling awkward, I practically instantly felt camaraderie with so many of the people there. Now I am sure a large part of this simply had to do with the nature of the people attending OCON to begin with, but whenever I was standing in conversation with a group of people, I continually would catch myself doing the things Diana points out NOT to do in this podcast and would immediately correct what I was doing. Usually this was involving my body language such as having my arms crossed in front of me when talking to people.

Additionally, I very much noticed OTHER OCON attendees putting Diana’s advice in this podcast to work as well and I took note of how effectively it worked for them too! I guess the secret is out!

Aug 042012

British Olympic weightlifter Zoe Smith responded to some idiotic sexist comments in a blog post on Tuesday. For all the girls who aim to be strong, they’re well worth repeating:

While we can’t get enough of the supportive messages (seriously, keep ‘em coming, I think I speak for all of us when I say my self-esteem is currently at an all-time high), what we aren’t so crazy about is the few ignorant twerps making rude comments. We did a quick search on Twitter for the title of the programme, ‘weightlifting’ and our names (it isn’t every day you’re on telly for an hour, so of course you’d be interested to see what people are thinking!), and the majority response was still very positive. But there were of course a very small percentage of idiots who seemed to have missed the entire point of the documentary. However after reading for a while it became more and more obvious that these people had never done a moment of exercise in their life, or had the intelligence of a potato.

The obvious choice of slander when talking about female weightlifting is “how unfeminine, girls shouldn’t be strong or have muscles, this is wrong”. And maybe they’re right… in the Victorian era. To think people still think like this is laughable, we’re in 2012! This may sound like a sweeping generalisation, but most of the people that do think like this seem to be chauvinistic, pigheaded blokes who feel emasculated by the fact that we, three small, fairly feminine girls, are stronger than them. Simple as that. I confronted one guy that said “we’re probably all lesbians and look like blokes”, purely to explain the fact that his opinion is invalid cause he’s a moron. And wrong. He came up with the original comeback that I should get back in the kitchen. I laughed.

As Hannah pointed out earlier, we don’t lift weights in order to look hot, especially for the likes of men like that. What makes them think that we even WANT them to find us attractive? If you do, thanks very much, we’re flattered. But if you don’t, why do you really need to voice this opinion in the first place, and what makes you think we actually give a toss that you, personally, do not find us attractive? What do you want us to do? Shall we stop weightlifting, amend our diet in order to completely get rid of our ‘manly’ muscles, and become housewives in the sheer hope that one day you will look more favourably upon us and we might actually have a shot with you?! Cause you are clearly the kindest, most attractive type of man to grace the earth with your presence.

Oh but wait, you aren’t. This may be shocking to you, but we actually would rather be attractive to people who aren’t closed-minded and ignorant. Crazy, eh?! We, as any women with an ounce of self-confidence would, prefer our men to be confident enough in themselves to not feel emasculated by the fact that we aren’t weak and feeble. And here’s some food for thought – maybe you should broaden your criteria for what you consider ‘attractive’ anyway, because these perfect, feminine women you speak of probably have no interest in you either.

What makes me sad is that some girls had this opinion too! How ironic that the title of the show was Girl Power. You’d think that young women around the same age as us would commend us for doing something different and with our lives, and putting 100% effort into it in order to make something of ourselves. But apparently we’re ‘weird’ for not constantly eating crap, binge drinking regularly and wearing the shortest, tightest dresses that the high street has to offer. Sigh…

Even better, check out what she did:

The decibel level in the weightlifting arena reached new heights as 18-year-old Zoe Smith set a British clean and jerk record of 121 kilograms in the “B” session of the women’s 58kg category on Monday. She also went for a British record in the snatch, but tensed up and missed.

That’s 266 pounds, for us Americans. WOW.

Most Awesome Marriage Proposal Ever

 Posted by on 5 June 2012 at 2:00 pm  Cool, Love/Sex, Marriage
Jun 052012

Dear Men of Earth,

You have a new ridiculously high standard to meet if and when you propose. See for yourself:

Of course, you might be really awesome, in which case the love of your life will surely accept your proposal however you ask!

Update: Boo! The video has been taken down due to copyright claims.

High Heels and Sex Appeal

 Posted by on 19 May 2012 at 10:00 am  Ethics, Fitness, Health, Love/Sex
May 192012

I’ve never been a fan of high heels. I used to wear wide two-inch heels on rare special occasions — meaning, a few times per year. I’d be happy to do that now, except that my Morton’s neuroma (inflamed nerve in the ball of my right foot) begins to scream and holler after just a few minutes in heels. Even without that problem, I can’t imagine wearing heels on a regular basis: to enhance my rear lines at the price of destroying my feet, ankles, knees, hips, and back seems like idiotic trade-off to me. In my view, if you’re destroying your capacity to enjoy your life (and sex) in order to make yourself more attractive, you’re doing it wrong!

So just how bad are heels for your feet? Consider these two x-rays. First, a normal foot, standing flat on the ground:

Now, a foot in high heels:

The abnormal stress and weight on the ball foot is glaringly obvious — and we’re not even seeing how the toes are jammed into the narrow point of the shoe. Of course, feet are not the only causality of high heels, as the whole point of heels is that they change a woman’s posture — thereby affecting ankles, knees, hips, and back too. The article High Heels and Back Pain explains the basics nicely:

For over a century, the biomechanical effects of heels in everything from running shoes to stilettos has puzzled researchers and fired controversy. When standing barefoot, the perpendicular line of the straight body column creates a ninety degree angle with the floor. On a two-inch heel, were the body a rigid column and forced to tilt forward, the angle would be reduced to seventy degrees, and to fifty-five degrees on a three-inch heel. Thus, for the body to maintain an erect position, a whole series of joint adjustments (ankle, knee, hip, spine, head) are required to regain and retain one’s erect stance and equilibrium.

The slope or slant of the heel, rear to front, is called the ‘heel wedge angle’. The higher the heel, the greater the angle. On the bare foot there is no wedge angle. The bottom of the heel is on a level one hundred and eighty degrees, with body weight shared equally between heel and ball. Inside the heeled shoe, the wedge angle shifts body weight forward so that on a low heel, body weight is shared forty percent heel, sixty percent ball; and on a high heel ninety percent ball and ten percent heel.

Check out the article for more details, including some illustrative drawings.

Undoubtedly, modern high heels aren’t as damaging as Chinese foot binding. Happily, heels can be worn only on occasion, and I don’t see any problem with that. However, I can’t see wearing high heels regularly as anything but self-destructive. Sure, they’re sexy, but do you need to exude sex appeal at work? Probably not, unless you’re a stripper. More, to court chronic pain and disfigurement in order to feel a bit sexier seems like a cruel joke on yourself and your sex life. In my view, that’s a sign that you need to rethink your standards for sexy, preferably before you cause your body permanent damage.

A woman who is healthy, happy, warm, and engaging can exude plenty of sexy … with her feet flat on the ground.

Apr 122012

In Sunday’s Philosophy in Action Webcast, I discussed public breastfeeding. The question was:

Is breastfeeding children in public wrong? My wife and I want to have kids, and one question we have concerns public breastfeeding. Is it immodest or improper to breastfeed in public? Should stores permit or forbid it on their premises? Should public breastfeeding be restricted or banned by law as indecent?

My answer, in brief:

People ought to support public breastfeeding, even if they prefer not to look at it. It’s not a sexual act, and mothers should be able to feed their babies when they’re out and about.

Here’s the video of my full answer:

If you enjoy the video, please “like” it on YouTube and share it with friends via social media, forums, and e-mail! You can also throw a bit of extra love in our tip jar.

Join the next Philosophy in Action Webcast on Sunday at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET at

In the meantime, Connect with Us via social media, e-mail, RSS feeds, and more. Check out the Webcast Archives, where you can listen to the full webcast or just selected questions from any past episode, and our my YouTube channel. And go to the Question Queue to submit and vote on questions for upcoming webcast episodes.

Rape: Just Don’t Do It

 Posted by on 2 March 2012 at 10:30 am  Funny, Love/Sex
Mar 022012

A while back, I was pointed to this hysterical video of CK Lewis on rape:

It’s obviously relevant to last Sunday’s webcast discussion of consent in sex, but it also reminds me of this webcast question asking “Should a man ever act in real life as Howard Roark did in his first sexual encounter with Dominique?” My answer: HELL NO!

Video: Consent in Sex

 Posted by on 29 February 2012 at 8:00 am  Ethics, Law, Love/Sex, Politics, Videocast
Feb 292012

In Sunday’s Philosophy in Action Webcast, I discussed consent in sex. The question was:

What constitutes consent in sex? Can a person give tacit consent by his or her actions? Is explicit consent required for some sex acts? Once consent has been given, when and how can a person withdraw that consent? Does the legal perspective on these questions differ from the moral perspective?

My answer, in brief:

To consent to sex requires communicating a willingness engaging in the act, whether by word or deed. Consent can be withdrawn at any point, and for the other person to ignore that constitutes sexual assault.

Here’s the video of my full answer:

Warning: This video is loooong at 42 minutes. (It’s a new record for me!)

If you enjoy the video, please “like” it on YouTube and share it with friends via social media, forums, and e-mail! You can also throw a bit of extra love in our tip jar.

Join the next Philosophy in Action Webcast on Sunday at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET at

In the meantime, Connect with Us via social media, e-mail, RSS feeds, and more. Check out the Webcast Archives, where you can listen to the full webcast or just selected questions from any past episode, and our my YouTube channel. And go to the Question Queue to submit and vote on questions for upcoming webcast episodes.

Feb 032012

In Sunday’s Philosophy in Action Webcast, I discussed feigning indifference to attract a man. The question was:

Should I act uninterested in a man to attract him? One common theme in romance advice is that a woman should act aloof and unattainable in order to attract a man or to get him to commit to a relationship. Is that dishonest? Is it counterproductive?

My answer, in brief:

It’s wrong to make people into conquests in romance. If you do, the kind of person that you’ll attract is not the kind of person that you’ll want to be with. And you’ll not be the kind of person that a good person will want to be with.

Here’s the video of my full answer:

If you enjoy the video, please “like” it on YouTube and share it with friends via social media, forums, and e-mail! You can also throw a bit of extra love in our tip jar.

Join the next Philosophy in Action Webcast on Sunday at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET at

In the meantime, Connect with Us via social media, e-mail, RSS feeds, and more. Check out the Webcast Archives, where you can listen to the full webcast or just selected questions from any past episode, and our my YouTube channel. And go to the Question Queue to submit and vote on questions for upcoming webcast episodes.

Gay Marriage Versus Theocracy

 Posted by on 2 December 2011 at 8:00 am  LGBT, Love/Sex, Politics
Dec 022011


I love love love this ad. It shows, so clearly, that the basic bonds and life lived in this gay relationship are exactly the same as for any strong man-woman romance. All that differs is the gender, which isn’t revealed until the very end. To deny marriage to these two men — clearly in love, clearly committed to each other — is nothing but unjust discrimination.

More, that unjust discrimination is rooted in religion, in the idea that God only sanctions marriage between a man and a woman. Government policy, however, should be based on rights, not religious dogma.

Gays have a right to unite their lives in marriage, if they so choose, just like everyone else. The recognition of that right across America — as it surely will happen over the next decade or two — will be a major victory for individual rights and a major defeat for theocratic government. I can’t wait!

Nov 012011

In Sunday’s Rationally Selfish Webcast, I discussed restrooms for the transgendered in transition — and, more broadly, the respect due to the transgendered. The question was:

Which bathroom should a pre-operative transgendered person use? The brutal attack at McDonald’s on a transgendered person in April 2011 was apparently started because that person used the ladies restroom, which was already occupied by a 14 year old. Was the transgendered person wrong to use that restroom?

My answer, in brief:

Transgendered people deserve to be treated with respect, just like everyone else! As for restrooms, they should use whatever restroom matches their outward appearance.

Here’s the video of my full answer:

If you enjoy the video, please “like” it on YouTube and share it with friends in e-mail and social media! You can also throw a bit of extra love in our tip jar.

All my webcast and other videos can be found on my YouTube channel.

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