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September 2011
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November 2011

Charm: Art or Oxytocin?

In this Pickup Podcast, I talked with Jordan Harbinger @AJandJordan from The Art of Charm about the chemistry of attraction. I am not only fascinated by pickup, I also think it's really good information about how human beings relate socially.

Here's the link:

What do you think? Is pickup manipulative and evil?

Picking Up Girls Using Embarrassing Items

Men: Women are not as mysterious, delicate or cautious as you think. Jesse, Jason and Kong from Simple Pickup  prove that women are as interested in sex as men are.

They took to the streets of San Francisco with a box of awkward items: packages of tampons, a used tampon, anal beads, a vibrating dildo and a transexual porn magazine -- and a used condom.

"Why are you holding a porno mag? What is that?" one asks.

"To beat off to," the man responds. "Why else would I be holding it?"

Do the women they approach shriek in disgust? Do they run away? Do they pour contempt on these men? Not at all. Watch sweet young college girls laugh, stay curious and engaged, and even direct a man to the nearest restroom so he can masturbate. (Video is embedded at bottom of this post.)

They also give their phone numbers -- although @SimplePickup doesn't let us know how many of those numbers are real.

There's a lot men can learn from this:

Jesse, Jason and Kong take what I would call a wholesome approach, even as they dangle anal beads and wave porn in women's faces. They're unapologetic and make it clear they're having fun. They're not ashamed of their interest, and therefore, they give the women permission to be curious and have fun with sexual content, as well.

Given this kind of permission and invitation, women will respond with their own sense of play. That sex drive is there in women, too. So, invite it out.


Sweet Smell of Birth

Evidently, there is a characteristic odor that comes when a woman in natural labor is close to giving birth -- and it's lovely.

According to this article on

It’s a ‘deep’ scent… not musky, necessarily, but primal and vaguely familiar …” Maybe birth smells like the opposite of death? The opposite of decay.


Clean Smut for Kids

Author Nicholson Baker's pornographic House of Holes is great reading for kids, says Elaine Blair in the New York Review of Books.

In the House of Holes alternate universe, men and women are full of desire and matter-of-fact about expressing even the most outlandish sex wishes. While the characters enthusiastically couple in the frictionless, athletic and exotic ways common in porn, what's different here, according to Blair is that, not only are all relations completely consensual; they are without shame or degradation.

Blair writes,

The book’s sex is never colored by real-world social relations. There are no chambermaids, whores, virgins, handymen, babysitters, bosses, nurses, teachers, teenagers, uncles, or incestuous couples at the House of Holes—none of the picturesque stock characters, in other words, whose corrupt authority or bashful submission or gleeful abjection lends such haunting piquancy to whatever pornographic stories they star in.

... having banished these troubling reprobates from his paradise, Baker can draw a magic circle of wholesomeness around sexual situations that we normally interpret as scenes of defilement.

Even though we may not buy into the concept of the female slut any more, Blair says, the concept still seems to creep into our relationships.

However, while today's adults, having grown up, most of us, under the shadow of the Scarlet S, can't approach Baker's material with the candor and joy his characters do, our kids could -- and should.

Blair says,

In the traditional sex talk, parents don’t say much about pleasure—presumably neither party wants to get into details. But wouldn’t it be nice for parents to have a way to convey our highest ideals on the subject? House of Holes will introduce impressionable readers to many interesting sexual possibilities without a whisper of stereotype or slur. You can be sure that no matter what scene your children are masturbating to, they are not objectifying women.