August 17, 2013 9:40 am

The Moment Is Right for “The Science of Sex Part 1”

Image for The Science of Sex on StarTalk Radio

The pursuit of science can take us to some pretty interesting places. The event horizon of a black hole. The furthest reaches of the known universe. The nucleus of an atom. But inside the pages of Fifty Shades of Grey?

Yes, this week StarTalk Radio explores the science of sex, with Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Mary Roach, author of Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex. Instead of bosons and quasars and asteroids, this week astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will be discussing orgasms, nocturnal clitoral erections and ejaculation.

Neil lined up the perfect comic co-host for the episode: Kristen Schaal, comedian and author of The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex. Kristen adds the right note of levity – “I think there should be more sex in labs” – to an episode burgeoning with surprising lines like “When you have a cold, you have a nose boner” (Mary Roach explaining that the nostril has erectile tissue) and “Lie back and think of England” (Dr. Ruth discussing changing attitudes towards female sexuality).

Astrophysicist Charles Liu is a guest as well, but really, this is an episode where the women are calling the shots and the men are just along for the ride, from Dr. Ruth explaining how Fifty Shades of Grey is proof that women can be just as aroused by porn as men, to Mary Roach pointing out that Viagra™ is old news and the new frontier of pharmaceutical research is developing pills for post-menopausal women with flagging sex drives.

And this is just Part 1. Who knows what stimulating subjects will pop up in Part 2 of The Science of Sex? You’ll have to tune in next week to find out.

Part 1 of “The Science Sex” will be available on our website this Sunday at 7:00 pm ET and on iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher by 7:30.

One last thing. You may have seen the video version of this episode on The Nerdist Channel. The video includes content from both Part 1 and Part 2, although as with the other episodes we co-produced with The Nerdist, not everything that’s in the podcasts made it into the video. If you want to watch the video, click on over to our YouTube channel here.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!

–Jeffrey Simons


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