In this episode, the studio is graced with the presence of Kezia Noble, seductress extraordinaire! On opening, Paul struggles to make a point about Monica Bellucci’s character in the new Bond movie Spectre. He asks if such undeveloped female characters are reflective of a culture of Tinder, Facebook and globalization – a culture of surfaces – or if his perspective has changed now that he’s married… Kez and Pete hijack the topic to discuss their favorite Bond girls, and what makes Bond so alluring. Next, we discuss how “bonding rituals” are different for boys and girls, and what that says about gender stereotypes. Peter and Paul are fascinated to learn that women must disparage themselves in front of other women, if they hope to be accepted. Men’s bonding rituals are much simpler and often involve sports and career, veering away from deeply emotional subjects. Such superficial connection allows for classic male bonding activities, such as pick-up basketball wherein strangers come together to play sport and then disperse. Pete describes the male-only environment of the cigar lounge, and Paul brings out the short-story compilation “Men Without Women” by Ernest Hemingway. Finally, we end on a discussion of work-life balance piqued by an October 10th Economist article “Juggling mums and halo dads,” a review of Anne-Marie Slaughter’s new book. Slaughter offers a riposte to the tired refrain that women can have it all if they just prioritize and work hard; she identifies the root of the problem as “a systematic imbalance in the esteem granted ‘two complementary human drives: competition, the impulse to pursue our self-interest…and care, the impulse to put others first.” Kezia and the men discuss.

  • Steve

    Towards the end of the podcast, there was a mention of Esther Perel’s book “Mating In Captivity.” While many of the ideas in her book are interesting and worth considering, her theories are mainly based on anecdotal evidence from her clients – not real research, science or hard data. Consequently, a lot of her theories have gotten her in hot water with academics within the field of psychology.

    Reputable research psychologists such as Dr. John Gottman ( and especially Dr. Sue Johnson – who developed Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), the most successful couples therapy in the world (70-75% success rate) – have shown time and again through their lab research that emotional distance doesn’t generate better marital sex. Nor does the novelty factor of one night stands, affairs, or new partners.

    What creates the best sex is emotional safety. Research tells us that those who can count on their partner to be there for them emotionally, who say that they have a secure bond, have sex more often and enjoy sex more. When people feel safe with each other they can also deal with the sexual differences and problems that inevitably come up in a long term love relationship.

    Here’s a great brief TED talk from Dr. Sue Johnson about this very subject and the scientific research her institute is doing…….

    • Steve,

      Thanks for the comment. Yeah, I have read Perel’s book twice and I think it’s a difficult problem – domesticity vs eroticism. I commend her for opening up the discussion, but I don’t know if she’s really hit on viable solutions. I’ll take a look at the two experts you reference. Dr. Gottman I know of from his famous 5-minute analysis (of a couple’s prognosis). I would like to learn more. I’ll take a look at his website and also Johnson’s TED talk and then get back to you.

      Thanks for enriching the conversation!


  • As requested, here’s a copy of what I wrote on FB:

    Great eps guys, really good topics, excellent discussion.

    In terms of an intro, I’d say something like this:

    Hello and welcome to Episode X of Take The Diapers Off, the podcast about X. My name is Peter McSweeney, I’m an actor/writer/director and former night club promoter. And I’m Paul Janka, also a dating expert (etc). Our special guest this week is Kezia Noble (eg), London’s best female dating coach for men. This week, we’re talking about xyz.

    Something like that.

  • Jonny Valentino

    Hey Pete, Good to meet you on the train 🙂
    I enjoyed listening to the podcast.

    Fortunately Bond films are not on the feminist Bechdel test list! (This test requires that two female characters play leading roles in the plot)

    Re Monica Bellucci and bond girls in general, these are masculine films.
    Looking forward to the next podcast.

Diapers Off! © 2017.


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