How science could help workplace and social relations…

One of my favorite twitter people is Prof Helen. She is an expert on health care policy and a professor at Cal-Berkeley, one of the finest R-1 universities in the world. So when she says something, I take it very seriously.

The subject of “me too” (sexual harassment and sexual assault) has been in the news lately and Prof Helen said this:

This reminded me of this blog post by Marta Iglesias:

It is my goal to explain why the causes of male and female difference are not merely cultural or the product of patriarchal indoctrination. Separate athletic competitions and distinct medical disciplines of gynaecology and urology testify to the most obvious biological differences between men and women. But the scientific method − a co-operative, critical, and self-correcting process which has midwifed huge technological and medical advances − can also help us to understand more subtle differences between the sexes in interests and aspirations. And it is understanding what we really are that will make us free.

Now this is NOT a “well, boys will be boys ergo we should just accept certain behavior”. It is more like this: statistically speaking, male brains are wired a different way. We are hard wired to view women, at least in part, sexually. Here is a joke meme along those lines (involving yoga class)

But FEELING does not excuse actions; we are men, not rabbits. Sexual harassment is unacceptable, period. It is up to men to adjust and to treat women fairly.

And yes, I know, there are some women who flirt and some who intentionally dress to provoke sexual arousal. But many times, the arousal is internal to the male…in short, it is OUR problem and it is up to adjust to it. We are to keep our hands and words to ourselves.

Feelings and urges do not have to be acted on.

And, it isn’t all about sex.

For example, my wife has a Facebook account and, from time to time, she will start a social/political discussion that gets very emotional. She flat told me to resist the urge to “ride in to save the day” when it appears that someone making a comment is being disrespectful. She is an accomplished professional; she does NOT need my help.

Workout notes:
Weights, 3 mile walk; yoga. Usual PT, pull ups (5 sets of 10; last one was 8-2 (narrow to wide grip), incline presses: 10 x 135, 6 x 155, 10 x 140, military: 15 x 55 seated, supported (dumbbell), 10 x 45 standing (dumbbell), 10 x machine (90). rows: 2 sets of 10 x 55 dumbbell, 10 x 110 machine.

Walk: West Peoria.

November 1, 2017 Posted by | human sexuality, social/political, walking, yoga | 1 Comment

Human evolution and cross breeding

I recently joked about new discoveries on humans mating with other homo species. There is more detail here, including how scientists figure this stuff out. Of interest is that we had mating with other homos both in the “failed migration” out of Africa, and again in the successful one (65 K years ago), and these conclusions are possible because of modern genome sequencing techniques.

On a more mundane (but still fun) level, here is a little video describing an evolutionary trajectory that lead to modern humans.

Science humor: a joke about curved spacetime:


February 19, 2016 Posted by | evolution, human sexuality, physics, science | , , | Leave a comment

Should have been my Valentines Day Post (human evolution)

Hey, you think that you’ve pushed the envelope in seeking romance? Both of us are downright shy compared to what our ancient ancestors did:

The discovery of yet another period of interbreeding between early humans and Neanderthals is adding to the growing sense that sexual encounters among different ancient human species were commonplace throughout their history.

“As more early modern humans and archaic humans are found and sequenced, we’re going to see many more instances of interbreeding,” says Sergi Castellano, a population geneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. His team discovered the latest example, which they believe occurred around 100,000 years ago, by analysing traces of Homo sapiens DNA in a Neanderthal genome extracted from a toe bone found in a cave in Siberia.

“There is this joke in the population genetics community — there’s always one more interbreeding event,” Castellano says. So before researchers discover the next one, here’s a rundown of the interbreeding episodes that they have already deduced from studies of ancient DNA.

5 different episodes of inbreeding are discussed, with two different species of homo (based on DNA analysis) Surf to the article to read the rest. The conclusion:

We’re looking at a Lord of the Rings-type world — that there were many hominid populations,” one evolutionary geneticist told Nature when the findings were presented at a conference in 2013.

Kink is nothing new for us; in fact we are tamer than we used to be.

February 18, 2016 Posted by | evolution, human sexuality, nature, science | | Leave a comment

Relationship advice for guys…

Perhaps I can be a relationship counselor?relationshipadvice


Uh…maybe not. 🙂

January 21, 2016 Posted by | human sexuality | , | Leave a comment

On sexual attraction between humans

This will be about heterosexual attraction between humans.
What motivated this article: part of the motivation was talking to single people on social media. Part of it was my own reactions. Sometimes my reactions are very easy to understand


but on occasion, I’ll have a reaction that I didn’t anticipate and wouldn’t have been able to predict.

And I was also motivated by this meme I saw on social media:


Now I get the point of the meme. One can’t just say: “You are supposed to find THIS to be sexy and it is so”.

But there IS an issue here. First of all, there is a cultural component to beauty. If you doubt this, ask yourself if you find bound feet to be a sign of beauty. What about neck rings?

On the other hand, I don’t need anyone to tell me what I get aroused by. I’ve got built in indicators for that.

Here is what I think is going on: there are different aspects to beauty. One is what one might call the “trophy” or “arm candy”. If you are a male, you know know how your step is just a bit bouncier if you are walking around with a “hot” woman and people might think that you are “with” her, whether you are or not. My guess is that this is a status thing and, of course, culture plays a role. There are a group of women that would be considered arm candy.

Then there is what pushes your button (put crudely: “pitches your tent”). And the group of women in this category isn’t exactly the same as the “arm candy” category. There is considerable overlap, of course. But the two groups are not the same. In my case, the group of women I find attractive tend to be a bit older and heavier (in the butt) than most men find optimal. But there are exceptions.

And yes, physical beauty matters, like it or not.

Now there is another side to this: what about the guys? I won’t write too much more, but this message to the self pitying “nice guy who can’t find a date” is..harsh but probably well taken.

January 18, 2016 Posted by | big butts, human sexuality | , | Leave a comment

Unrequited Love: bunny style

(hat tip: Jerry Coyne)

It is mating season and the wild rabbit sees something that he likes…but can’t have. Aw…a love that will never be.

Or, perhaps put another way, yet another male who is a victim of testosterone poisoning. Most of us straight males know the feeling. The conflict between nature and civilization can play havoc with our serenity. 🙂

January 14, 2016 Posted by | evolution, human sexuality, nature | | Leave a comment

Why marriage agrees with me (sans kids)

This won’t be a post about family and kids. I love my daughter and am glad that she is in this world. But she’ll be the only one; I’ll have no more kids. I am not a “kid person”.

I am talking mostly about my individual situation at my stage in life (mid 50’s; daughter 2/3 of the way through college).

I have single friends and follow many others on social media and have seen memes like these:




I’ll admit that there are downsides to marriage and to the type of marriage that I am in (with blended families). I won’t belabor those though.

And no, this won’t be one of those “well, my wife is the MOST WONDERFUL WOMAN IN THE WORLD” bull**it posts either; we’d all know that would be insincere. She, like me, has strengths and weaknesses. I admit that she has many traits that appeal to me (mental, emotional, physical).

But this post is not about repeating the stuff everyone knows is false.

I do my share of that, but won’t do that here. I intend this post to be a bit more universal than that.

Here are some practical things that being married that I like and that don’t depend upon my spouse’s particular personality and other traits.

1. Companionship. Having someone at home when I am off work is nice (most of the time), and, aside from sex…I do like a warm bed.

2. Financial. If I had just my own salary (and choose to work only 10 months of the year, as I do now), our household income would be 60’th percentile. That is ok, given that child support is almost in the rear view mirror. But that would require making more choices than I do now. Together, we are 80-90’th percentile and that is much nicer. Example: if we don’t feel like doing dishes, we can afford to eat out. If I want to go to a nearby game I can, so long as I am realistic about my seat choices (no luxury box for this guy…or even club seats unless the team really stinks and they can be purchased at a steep discount). Modest vacations are not mere fantasy (emphasis on “modest”).

3. Experiences. I try other things that I wouldn’t ordinarily try (yes, that includes family gatherings) and, often I find myself happy that I tried them. I find that I have good memories doing stuff that I wouldn’t have tried otherwise.

And this will sound hard to believe: my ex wife suggested that we go hiking at Lost Pines (Bastrop, TX). That got me hooked on trail hiking. In 2009, my current wife took me to my first NFL game since 1988 (seriously) and that got me hooked, again! She also took me to a couple of minor league baseball games and that eventually got me going to those.

4. Expansion of the social circle. Some of my wife’s friends became my friends, and I grew to enjoy the company of her grown up kids. We’ve even done some activities together (swimming, running).

5. Relationships with female friends (this is counterintuitive). Oddly enough, I do more things with other females than I ever did when I was single. I’ve spoken in more detail about the upside and downside to female friendship in another post. But this is what I think is going on: when I am single, most outings with a female friend has what I call “potential to become a date”. Hence, I felt some sort of tension in that, even if it were a “just friends” outing; I wanted her to be attracted to me on some level. After all, if she doesn’t find me to be attractive, there must be something wrong with me. THAT is the reason I think that men dread the “friend zone”; it isn’t as much about not getting sex as it is being rejected. Now, as a married man, the “friend zone” is exactly where I want to be with a non-spousal female friend! I can relax and enjoy the mutual activity, be it a bike ride, hike, yoga workshop, run or sporting event.

Were I to become single, my female “do stuff with” friends list would probably shrink to…zero? And that leads to ..

6. NO MORE DATING! Yes, the best part of being married is to not have to worry about dating. My goodness, I hated dating and am glad that is in my past. I might enjoy the results but I hated the process and do not miss it. But were I to become single again…sigh…I’d probably force myself to endure it.

January 4, 2016 Posted by | Friends, human sexuality | , | Leave a comment

Can you be friends with a member of the opposite sex?

Note: I am talking about heterosexual males and heterosexual females (“cisgender” heterosexual males and females). This is not to say that the friendship dynamics between, say, a gay male and a straight male wouldn’t be interesting. I think that they would be. I just know nothing about it; those who have something to say are welcome to do so.

I’ll be writing from the point of view of a married, straight male.

By “friends”, I mean: “someone that you do something with”, and not merely someone that you say “hi” to at work or in the gym, or work with on a professional level. I am not talking about things like internet discussion or interaction, though I realize that can be an interesting issue too.

Yes, I have female friends. Where this stems from: many years ago, “before kids”, I did have male friends that I did things with, such as go to games, go out to eat with, etc. But as kids came and I became a non-custodial parent “at a distance”, most of my “non-spousal” “doing stuff with” partners were single women, most who had either never had kids or whose kids were long gone. Simply put, that is who was available and interested.

The types of things I’ve done with female friends: spectator sporting events (football, baseball, basketball), yoga workshops, political campaigns/events, running races, runs, hikes, plays (one time to watch my wife perform!) and meals. The meals mostly came after events, meetings, or were workday lunches.

Yes, my wife has done things with male friends as well.

So, of course my answer to my question would be “yes”, but I will have to say that the dynamic is a bit different for me when the friend is a straight female as opposed to being a male. Here is why:

1. Of course, you are more limited in what you can do. Example: I did a half marathon with a male friend. We got a hotel room the night before. I probably couldn’t do that with a female friend, at least so long as I am married. Some time ago, I did spend the night in the guest bedroom of a single female friend and while the friend was fine, it did created a bit of unneeded tension at home. There was no such tension when I spent the night at a male friend’s house.

Another example: my yoga teacher (when I did that regularly) suggested that we practice “partner yoga” together so we could present it at a workshop. So we did. Some of the partner poses..might be described as being somewhat intimate. Yes, we did this one, both this version and the wide leg version.


The stretch WAS deeper than I could have done on my own, which was part of the point. But there was the “trust” thing too. When it is two males, the trust would come in expecting the other partner to not let you fall. But with a female..and a fit, firm one..they are going to feel good to me and so I had to put my mind in a correct state.

And one time, my teacher was a bit tipsy (wine) when I showed up; so she was a bit bolder, laughed more and, well, things were fine. But other yogis told me that I had taken a risk, though one said he “envied my situation”.

2. There are the old memories from my early adult/teenage days too. What I’ve found is that “the first time” with a female…well…*feels* but a bit “date-ish” to me. New friendships (male or female) always has a “sorting out” phase, but for me there is an extra bit of nervousness when it is a female, AT FIRST. I suppose that, even on a “just friends” outing, rejection is a bit more painful if it comes from a female, even if it is a “well, we didn’t hit it off” rejection that sometimes happens with male friends. And there is this: even if it is subtle: if she finds you attractive: warning! If she doesn’t, there is the “what is wrong with me?” hurt feelings reaction.

I still remember going to a basketball game with a female friend who invited herself (“hey, if your wife doesn’t want to go, take me!”). She was openly nervous at first; almost stammering when we first met. It went fine.

3. If the friendship lasts long enough for things to get comfortable (no nervousness): I’ve noticed that almost all of my female friends (with perhaps one exception) usually make a remark or gesture to remind me that, while they are friends and are NOT hitting on me, they are still a female with the power to attract. They might tell a story, or say something like “I’ll be you are glad that I am wearing yoga pants” or even give a playful wiggle. I think that most people (at least ones that I am friends with) don’t want to be viewed asexually during their “off work” hours. Sexual attractiveness is part of the ego (and “power struggle”), even between friends.

4. Then, there is “the look”. Yes, straight guys sometimes give each other: “you are one cool guy to hang out with..I like you” look to each other. There is no danger that the look will be taken any other way. But when the friend is a straight female, there is the added “OMG, a straight female finds me to be desirable” reaction and that pumps the ego up just a tiny bit more.

5. Now this is the part that I am the most ashamed of: when it comes to male friends, my ONLY criteria is “do I find them to be good company”. I have friends of many different types, although given the things that I like to do, my male friends tend to be either smart (regardless of educational credentials) or athletic; most are both. I can think of some who aren’t athletic but all are smart to one degree or another.

But with women, there is another factor. I’ll explain: when you are out with a female friend, others in the public often make the assumption that you are “together”. That can lead to a bit of awkwardness: some have thought that I was married to my running buddy. Once we went to a game and she wore the opposing team’s sweatshirt. Someone joked that if my team won, I wouldn’t “get any”. Another time, we were featured in the “Kiss Cam”. (peck on the cheek is what I gave).

But, more often, the “public assumption that you are together”…well, I’ll say it this way: every female friend I’ve done something with is someone that I would have been proud to be seen on a date with, were both of us single. I suppose that it feels to me that a female companion reflects on me more than a male one does. It shouldn’t be that way, but to me, it is.

December 29, 2015 Posted by | Friends, human sexuality, social/political | , , , | 1 Comment

I’ve seen that look…

She bends over, straightens up and then realizes where he was…

Screen shot 2015-11-27 at 10.17.04 PM

November 28, 2015 Posted by | big butts, human sexuality, humor | | 1 Comment

Old man thug life…

Ok, I noticed but didn’t say anything.

A young woman was doing cable pulley crunches:


But had her back to the support pole:


(she was kneeling instead of standing, but she was facing away, as above)

And was so close, she had a “butt grip” on the pole, that got deeper every time she bent forward:


Not sure if it was on purpose or not; not sure if the weight room supervisor would say something or not. 🙂

I was at the board, doing a numerical analysis calculation. Woman (not a student, but staff or faculty) walks away down the hall. She was wearing a tight white dress..(no slip?) with clear as a bell VPLs.

I finished the calculation and got it right. 🙂 (it involved the remainder term of the Taylor series)

August 26, 2015 Posted by | human sexuality, humor | , , , | Leave a comment