On Wednesday, May 30th, I broadcast an episode of Philosophy in Action Radio on BlogTalkRadio. The topic was “Meeting New People.”

Topics Discussed

  • My still-for-sale podcast on finding prospects for romance and friendship
  • Five tips for meeting new people
  • Asking an interesting person for a second meeting
  • Finding better people in college
  • Overcoming (hatred of) small talk
  • Finding a non-religious community for the family

Listen Now

    Duration: 33:17

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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 www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live.

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 www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live.

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 www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live.

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
 

Wow:

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.

Video: State Involvement in Marriage

 Posted by on 25 October 2011 at 7:00 am  Law, Love/Sex, Politics, Videocast
Oct 252011
 

In Sunday’s Rationally Selfish Webcast, I discussed whether and how the state should be involved in marriage — a crucial question for the debates about gay marriage. The question was:

Should the state be involved in marriage contracts? Many people say that gay marriage shouldn’t be a political issue, because the state shouldn’t be involved in defining marriage at all. Is that right? Why or why not?

My view, in brief:

We ought to separate politics and marriage, by treating marriage like any other contract. The state has a limited but crucial role to play in marriage to ensure that marriage contracts are objective, voluntary, and enforced. However, the state should not play social engineer by deciding who can get married or the terms of that marriage.

Here’s the video of my 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.

Two Videos on Nudity

 Posted by on 29 September 2011 at 11:00 am  Ethics, Etiquette, Law, Love/Sex, Politics
Sep 292011
 

In Sunday’s Rationally Selfish Webcast, I discussed two questions on nudity. The first question was:

What’s the proper approach to nudity? Should we all be nude all the time? Should nudity be saved for your lover only? Should children see their parents naked? Should we have clothing-optional get-togethers with friends? Basically, what is your view of the proper contexts for nudity?

Here’s the video of my answer:

The second question was:

Do restrictions on nudity and sex visible to others violate rights? While having a zestful online debate, someone claimed that Ayn Rand contradicts herself in claiming that public nudity should be censored. (See “Thought Control” in The Ayn Rand Letter.) Since sex is a beautiful act, why should people be protected from it? Could a ban on visible pornography or sex be a slippery slope to other intrusions by government?

Here’s the video of my answer:

If you like them, please share them! Also, all my webcast and other videos can be found on my YouTube channel.

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