By Charlotte Saunders
After struggling to sleep in my new accommodation, predominantly due to next door’s spontaneous laughing fits at 3am, or the adjacent block blasting Chase and Status till the early hours – I decided to take up listening to podcasts before bed. A particular favourite has become “Savage Lovecast”, an Agony Aunt of the world of relationships, with all callers’ questions being answered by Dan Savage, a 50 year old gay man from Chicago.
Okay, so you’re wondering where I am going with this? Well, apart from having a voice as soothing as Dusty Springfield, the topics are strangely addictive. It covers all the topics about sex and relationships that we are all too timid to ask. Although some of the questions are quite profound, I think Dan Savage has encouraged people to be inquisitive about things that are a completely natural part of life; despite how ‘embarrassing’ their questions may be!
To spark your interest, I want to touch on a topic covered in the 13th of October episode which particularly struck my interest, as Dan answered the oh-so common dilemma of “My other half is jealous of my long term friendship with a person of the opposite sex, what should I do?” If this hasn’t affected you then you’re very lucky, hence feel free to return to snacking on your favourite nosh and watching Netflix. If you are the antithesis and have either been on the receiving end or been the individual feeling compromised by another – worry no more, thanks to Dan I have the answer (maybe).
The Westermarck effect is a psychological hypothesis, based on the concept that people of the opposite sex in close friendships from early stages of life (1-18 years old) become desensitized to sexual attraction, it’s called reverse sexual imprinting. Now initially, I thought it sounded like a load of waffle as a way of men and women reassuring themselves that they’re still the apple of their partner’s eye. However, after reading up on it – google has no difficulties in providing an extensive selection of literature – it makes sense, it actually begins to answer that persistent question of “Can guys and girls be just friends?” I also think it reinforces the idea of double standards, and defends those who are targeted by their girlfriend/boyfriend because their friend is of the opposite gender.
As I am no adviser or psychologist, if you are interested further, check out the 13-10-15 episode and clock in around 7:05. It’s all available for free via the “podcasts” on the App Store.
So, after a snippet of the wonderful world of Savage Lovecast, (also available as a blog found here for those of you who still live in the 90’s) please get listening, I guarantee it’ll get your curious juices flowing and provide excellent entertainment for times of procrastination.
Charlotte Saunders is a French speaker who’s vertically challenged, a devote Morrissey fan and a film enthusiast (but no buff). You can find her on twitter here.