We thought, with all the amateur advice about sex and love going around this time of year, that we'd really get in there and ask some experts. We hope you find their advice as useful as we did. Especially the part about not mentioning your love for Human Centipede on online dating profiles.
How do I set the mood?
First, I’d choose mating partners that were healthy — a male that looks vibrant and colorful, and a female full of eggs. After choosing a suitable pair, I’d put them in an enclosed space with a mesh barrier separating them. Maybe add some plants for ambiance. Keep the temperature warm. Make sure there was plenty to drink. Let them sit like that overnight, knowing that the other was just across a thin barrier. In the morning, when the sun came up, I’d remove the barrier and let ’em at each other.
Answer provided by: Emma Fried-Cassorla, formerly tasked with getting fish to reproduce at a Penn lab, current proprietor of Philly Love Notes.
How do I get a date?
You have to market yourself well. That means taking new photos for your online profile versus using the best of the crappy photos you already have. Don’t use the selfies you snapped last weekend when you were buzzed after Quizzo. Instead, put some effort in, stand in natural light and have a friend take great shots. In your profile, don’t say that Saw and Human Centipede are your favorite movies. Instead, write, “I’m really into psychological thrillers.” Psychological thrillers equal interesting. Human Centipede equals creepy and weird. Above all else, you need to advertise for the type of person you’re trying to attract. If you want to land a liberal, progressive-minded marriage-equality activist, you have to use keywords that will resonate with him or her. Likewise, you need to target the appropriate audience. If that activist description fits you, then don’t sign up for a profile on ChristianSingles.com.
Answer provided by: Amy Webb, CEO of Webbmedia Group, former City Paper staff writer author of Data, A Love Story, on gaming online dating .
When will I fall in love?
Usually what happens is when someone is going to fall in love, you’ll see that their aura is brighter, their energy is stronger and pulls in better people. So usually when someone is about to fall in love, it shows how love is being attracted to them. It automatically rejuvenates their whole aura. You can see in them, “Oh, wow, that’s a very happy person and love is on the way.” As a matter of fact, if you’re well connected to your own intuition, you can tell by the way someone stands and holds themselves.
Answer provided by: Anna Marks, Philadelphia Psychic Center.
How should I behave at a romantic dinner?
Some of the don’ts: waving at your server, interrupting them while they are with another guest or anything that disrupts other diners. Seeing as Valentine’s is around the corner, PDA would be on the horizon as one of these disruptions. Everyone dining in a restaurant understands that this is a romantic evening. However, when a romantic glance or clasped hands across the table escalates to heavy petting or a make-out session, often a manager has to step in. On my very first day as a restaurant manager, I encountered this very situation. Fortunately, the restaurant was in a hotel. I politely told the guests that I had checked with the front desk and that there were several vacancies if they would like to book a room. Thankfully, humor often works out well in these situations.
Answer provided by: Ryan Mulholland, general manager, Vernick Food & Drink.
How can I know when I’ve found The One?
The question of how to know when you’ve found The One is a big one. A lot hangs on it: Should you move in together? Buy a house? Have children?
But before you answer those questions, you must answer the bigger question of how we can know anything at all. As limited and fallible creatures, our perceptions don’t distinguish between how things really are and how they would be in some alternative matrix or dreamlike world. Even putting aside that concern, another remains: The fact that your loved one says the right things and makes the right expressions isn’t enough to guarantee that he or she isn’t a mindless zombie or an impressively designed robot.
Recent work in epistemology suggests, counterintuitively, that whether we know something depends on our practical interests. Rutgers philosopher Jason Stanley offers these two examples: In the first one, Hannah bikes by the bank to deposit her paycheck late on Friday but notices that the line is quite long. She has no upcoming bills, so it doesn’t matter whether she deposits it that day. She was there on Saturday two weeks before, so she knows the bank is open Saturday and she can deposit it then. In the second case, Hannah must deposit the check before her rent is due Monday. Even though Hannah was there two weeks before, she realizes that banks sometimes change their hours. In this case, she no longer knows the bank will be open Saturday. Stanley and others attribute this difference in knowing to a change in what’s at stake. In slogan form, it’s harder to know when a lot is riding on it.
If you want to know whether you’ve found The One, a similar lesson may apply. It’s easier to know if the question is detached from the practical, logistical and financial concerns that depend on it. But if you want to know how to do that, you need a lawyer, therapist or financial planner, not a philosopher.
Answer provided by: Daniel J. Singer, assistant professor of philosophy, University of Pennsylvania.
How do I cope with heartbreak?
When I was 17, the Eagles lost to the Atlanta Falcons on a last-second field goal. “Devastated” doesn’t really describe what I felt that night. It’s that pain that nobody can take away, if you’re a sports fan or if you’re in love, and it starts feeling good after a while. You want to sit in it — but you just feel stupid and used: “Why am I going through this? I’m never going to do this again, and I’ll be mean to every chick I ever date.”
Recently we’ve gotten used to it, because it’s been 14 years of seasons ending the same: You’re so close and then they blow it. Now I just expect it to go wrong. The psychology would be like those guys who sabotage relationships to make sure they don’t get hurt. You try not to invest yourself. The problem is, without knowing, you do anyway — and then they rip your throat out.
I go into the games knowing, “You’re gonna lose.” I do stupid stuff like bet against them, so when they lose I at least get some money out of it, but that feels so wrong. I just try to know they’re never going to win. I’ll never see a Super Bowl — because that’s all I really want in my life. I just tell myself: “Face it, we’re a city of losers. We live in what is commonly known as sports hell, so expect the worst.”
After a bad loss, I don’t turn on the TV, don’t turn on the radio, don’t watch SportsCenter, don’t buy the paper. I go into denial. I start listening to music and I act as if sports don’t exist. You laugh to keep from crying, you make jokes about it. Then, it’s anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance: You go through the same psychological process you go through when you have the death of a loved one or the loss of a true love. It used to manifest itself in fighting: Opposing teams fans would get beat up; that’s how we would cope. Now you can’t even fight anymore. So eventually, you go: “Let’s just face it: It’s not meant to be.”
Ultimately, I’m an incurable romantic. I think the pain is worth falling in love. My belief is, it’s worth being hurt. You can’t appreciate the pain without something that made you so effing happy. Love ain’t supposed to turn out right, and neither is sports.
Answer provided by: Phil Allen, aka Phil from Mount Airy, host of NFL Postgame Show and weekend host on 97.5 The Fanatic.