The Evolution of Love and Sex with Dan Savage

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About This Episode

Dim the lights and get comfy when Neil deGrasse Tyson chats with sex columnist Dan Savage about modern love. Meanwhile, Chuck Nice and biological anthropologist Helen Fisher look at sex scientifically, and Bill Nye rants about… what else? Find out which basic brain systems are responsible for sex drive, romantic love, and deep attachment, and compare the drug-like biochemical aspects of sex and romantic love. Explore data-informed similarities and differences across genders, gender identities and sexual orientations. You’ll get different takes on love at first sight, polyamory and one-night stands from Savage, whose Savage Love column has run for 24 years, and Dr. Fisher, who is the chief scientific advisor to Match.com. Discover the secrets to a long lasting relationship – and why they might have nothing to do with true love and finding the perfect mate. Demystify fetishes, perversions… and Tinder. You’ll also hear why neither sexpert believes humans are naturally monogamous and how we’ve developed what Helen calls a “dual human reproductive strategy” – falling in love and pairing for child-raising but also behaving adulterously – and Dan calls “monogamish.” (Warning: Adult Content.)

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: The Evolution of Love and Sex with Dan Savage.

 

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  • Dave Flegel

    are these the same as seen on tv, or is there extra stuff? thanks

    • Dave, they have been so far. But now that we’ve helped get the TV show off the ground, we’re going back to regular episodes including more Cosmic Queries, some with Neil like this Sunday and some with Bill, and StarTalk Live! episodes.
      We’ll mix in podcast versions of the TV show every once in a while, too.
      Sound good?

  • Taxil Necrobane

    You really know how to pick the guests don’t you startalk? I will disclose that I don’t care that Savage is anti-religious, people should be free to think what they want about that topic. But I am in great disagreement in letting Savage on the podcast because he is a nasty unrepentant bully among MANY other things. I can not and will not take him serious as an advice giver when he crass and cruel person. I remember that video of him insulting, berating, and bullying a young woman AT AN ANTI-BULLYING PRESENTATION!

    I know I have some disagreements with Bill Nye, but I hands down would rather have Nye on than Savage.

    • cyber man

      Dan Savage is not a bully. Calling out religious bigots doesn’t make him one, nor does being an atheist make him “anti-religious.” Intolerance of someone’s bigotry does not equal bullying.

      • Taxil Necrobane

        Did you not even seen his videos or read his books? He IS a bully and he’s completely unrepentant. Savage is completely open over his derision, mocking, and tearing down Christians over any other. There is a distinct diffrience between an Atheist and someone who is anti-religious. It is clear that he’s anti-religious. Seeing Savage (a fitting name) verbal tear into a 16 year old or so teenager girl at that school assembly who didn’t want to attacked for what she believes and is left CRYING from his words is the act of a bully.

        One of the reasons why I like Mr. Tyson is that he is CIVIL and has self control. Yes, Mr. Tyson and others might have disagreements, but he does not cuss them out to their face or behind their back or blow up emotionally like Savage does.

        • Solafein

          http://www.ew.com/article/2012/05/01/dan-savage-christian-teens

          He apologized apparently. lol
          Idk if that is what you were referring to though.

          • Taxil Necrobane

            I am not really buying his apology as a sincere one.

        • cyber man

          He did not attack some lone 16 year old girl. Out of 2800 people at a National High School Journalism conference, a handful got up and walked out, and according to some other sources, some of the girls that walked out cried. That’s not bullying. You crying because someone upset your fee fees over their comments about the bible does not constitute bullying.

          Savage has consistently called out anti-gay Christians. Not all Christians. Hell, he talks about coming from a catholic family and having his son baptized at the behest of his mother. You asked me if I have seen his videos or read his books. I have. You on the other hand have very clearly not. Christians want the right to disparage and attack LGTB people without anyone ever calling them out on their bigotry, and when they do get called out, they claim they are the ones being attacked and bullied.

          • Taxil Necrobane

            Ah yes, I was expecting someone who would cover for Savage’s savage behavior. Most people come from a religious family, but he is not religious himself. he attacks the christian church (focusing in on Catholics and their tenets) yet I never hear him attack the Islamic religion who DO persecute and kill gays around the world. Iran isn’t a christian country, but their leader had announced they don’t have gays there. Why? They killed them all. I don’t hear a peep about the gays being slaughtered over there by the LGBT groups. Would you rather have the christians ‘bully’ gay people or the islamics ‘bully’ them? maybe it’s just easier to bully the christian religion as it is not an inherently violent religion compared to others.

            Do some Christians say mean things about gays? yes, some of them do. What does it matter to you or them? Do they physically attack them? burn their house down? rob them? kill them? more than likely no. If they do, they have committed a crime and should be punished by the law. The same should go the other way if gays attack Christians. Yes Savage has the right to say mean and nasty things about others, but that does not give him a pass with me for being a bully. People should have the right to who they want to associate with and their own thoughts on subjects. Also people shouldn’t have to sit down and take that verbal abuse from him or anyone.

            If Savage was at least civil about his words, then this whole kerfuffle would not be an issue.

          • Taxil Necrobane

            Ah yes, I was expecting someone who would cover for Savage’s savage behavior. Most people come from a religious family, but he is not religious himself. he attacks the christian church (focusing in on Catholics and their tenets) yet I never hear him attack the Islamic religion who DO persecute and kill gays around the world. Iran isn’t a christian country, but their leader had announced they don’t have gays there. Why? They killed them all. I don’t hear a peep about the gays being slaughtered over there by the LGBT groups. Would you rather have the christians ‘bully’ gay people or the islamics ‘bully’ them? maybe it’s just easier to bully the christian religion as it is not an inherently violent religion compared to others.

            Do some Christians say mean things about gays? yes, some of them do. What does it matter to you or them? Do they physically attack them? burn their house down? rob them? kill them? more than likely no. If they do, they have committed a crime and should be punished by the law. The same should go the other way if gays attack Christians. Yes Savage has the right to say mean and nasty things about others, but that does not give him a pass with me for being a bully. People should have the right to who they want to associate with and their own thoughts on subjects. Also people shouldn’t have to sit down and take that verbal abuse from him or anyone.

            If Savage was at least civil about his words, then this whole kerfuffle would not be an issue.

  • x

    Sigh. What a relief that my ex’s can finally see and understand I was RIGHT!

  • x

    Sigh. What a relief that my ex’s can finally see and understand I was RIGHT!

  • Visionary

    I think Helen Fisher got cut off a lot and couldn’t really finish all she wanted to say.. wish it was longer and drawn out a bit more to let her finish.

  • Vincent OuYoung

    Tinder is for white guys. This is the consensus I’ve gathered from various sources. (There I said it)

  • Taxil Necrobane

    I agree, I can tell she had a lot more to say, but just didn’t say it. A pity.

  • Miguel

    Hey! Anyone knows if there´s a transcription of this programme so we could read it?

    • Miguel, we do not create transcripts of our podcasts.

      • Taxil Necrobane

        For the hearing impaired, maybe Star talk should look into making them. I there is a blind individual who likes to hear these pod casts. Obviously they can’t get as much out of NDT’s tv show so this will have to do. For those who are deaf, A transcript would be a god send.

        • Jim

          wont closed caption for hearing impaired while watching star talk tv show help?

          • Taxil Necrobane

            They can, but deaf people can’t hear the pod cast. If they had a transcripts of it, they can know what was said.

  • Mark Lofquist

    I was fascinated by the discussion on how true love means you accept the other person’s flaws. Where do I get more info on that. My wife HATES my flaws. It’s all she ever focusses on.

  • Amy Rosen

    How can you call this a science show when you completely verbally stomped all over your scientist when she tried to talk and gave all the time to Dan Savage, a fine and wonderful human being and entertainer who is NOT a scientist. I was embarrassed as a human for this show. Had to turn it off, and I may well not be back. I’ve heard sexist comments on your show before and I let it roll, I’ve worked with mostly men my whole life. But this was SO blatent and so bad. The way you all acted like it was SO cute her scientist title at work…SHE *IS* A FREAKING SCIENTIST!

    • MH

      I think you may be reading into it a bit too much. Neil does this to pretty much all of his guests. He has X number of clips that he needs to get to, in order, and he needs to play them before each break with enough time for discussion about it afterward.

      What happened was really that Dr. Fischer, being primarily an anthropologist, and unversed in soundbyte sized answers. I would personally have liked to hear this episode without the Dan Savage crap, because all of that was clearly biased toward his personal views, and he’s as you said, not a scientist.

      I don’t think they were being sexist however. I think they would have said the same things to a male guest.

    • Boy Elvis

      Were we listening to the same show? Dr. Fisher got plenty of airtime and was dealt with fairly and respectfully.

      As for discounting Savage because he’s “not a scientist,” that is in and of itself a logical fallacy. Counter Savage’s arguments if you can, but you may not just handwave him away because he’s not a PhD.

  • Lizaveta

    I feel like all of them pretty much made asses of themselves with the way they trampled all over Helen Fisher’s comments. She could hardly get an entire sentence out. Overall, this episode sucked. Way to disappoint.

  • Swamper

    This is the first episode of Startalk I’ve ever shut off half-way through. Dan Savage? Have you watched his videos?

    Also, could we have more star talk on Startalk? This topic might be interesting to some, but if I wanted to listen to podcasts about relationships, I wouldn’t be on an astronomy/physics website.

  • Crystal Custalow

    I would have actually liked to hear more from Dr. Fischer, she sounds really knowledgeable and eager to talk about the topic. It’s led me to want to look her up as an individual. I feel she was really overshadowed by everyone else and I don’t think she serves as a 1 or 2 sentence chime in very well, she seems to know so much, I think she deserves a whole show where she is the guest.

  • Crystal Custalow

    I was also disappointed by the lack of discussion about asexuality in a science based talk about sex. Savage mentioned it briefly but would have liked to have heard from the scientist.

  • Andrew Merwin

    I agree completely with Amy Rosen. It was very frustrating to hear you cut off Dr. Helen Fisher before she could finish her comments. This woman has dedicated more than 30 years of her life to the rigorous academic study of love and sex, and instead of getting more of her insights on the subject, you have her respond to comments by Dan Savage. C’mon!

  • Enlightening show, thanks.

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