Saving Your Relationship With Supply and Demand

There’s a new book out called Spousonomics that has a lot of people talking.

Spousonomics book

Authors Jenny Anderson and Paula Szuchman have taken basic economic principles and innovatively applied them to relationship issues. It makes sense: take irrational, emotional problems, and fix them with the most rational standards of all. The NYT has a nice personal essay by Anderson in which she discusses her own marital problems and some of the topics in the book which she used to help her relationship.

Click here to check out the essay over at the NYT >

Speed-Dating on Groupon Today!

Perfect for the impatient AND budget-conscious: Groupon is offering a speed-dating deal today, from a company called Speed NY.

Speed NY advertises itself as “Speed Dating UK Style,” which apparently just means that there’s liberal use of the word ‘lovely’ on their website. Oh, and the events do seem a bit classier than one’s standard image of traditional speed-dating, with gourmet food and complimentary on-site makeovers for the ladies beforehand, all at relatively hip Manhattan venues like Tenjune and Flute.

As of the time of this post, 404 people had purchased the deal.

Would you ever try speed-dating?

Click here to check out the Groupon offer for yourself >

I Didn’t Even Know Ken and Barbie Had Split…

… but apparently they’re getting back together! At least, Ken’s trying really hard to make it happen.

Mattel’s newest ad campaign, in honor of the duo’s 50th anniversary this year, has littered New York City with ads proclaiming Ken’s love for his ex and promoting their potential reunion:

Mattel ad in the East Village

(It reads: “Should Barbie take Ken back? ‘Yes’ or ‘No'”)

Similarly, Gothamist reports that Ken was photographed at Magnolia Bakery in the West Village — personalizing a cupcake for Barbie which the bakery will begin selling this week. Gothamist also states that Mattel press releases indicate Ken will also be hitting up a few other well-known sweet spots in New York, including Dylan’s Candy Bar.

Why the media barrage now? Shocker: Mattel’s releasing a new Ken doll: “Sweet Talking Ken.”

So, is this a brilliant marketing ploy, or does no one really care?

As of right now, those who have taken the time to vote are advising Barbie to rebuff Ken’s advances. Oops.

If you’d like to help Ken (and Mattel) out, you can cast your vote here.

How the Web is Changing Young Love and Sexuality

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, New York Magazine’s latest issue is dedicated to the most romantic of love-related topics: porn.

They’ve got everything covered, from a profile of the superstars of the porn business, to an analysis of how the current overload of porn is preventing men from being able to… do what those superstars are doing.

The most thought-provoking piece, however, was Alex Morris’ “They Know What Boys Want,” a study of the ways that teens’ sexual habits have been influenced by easy access to online pornography. Over the course of several conversations with several female students in New York City (ranging in age from 12 to 16), Morris paints a picture of the pressures being applied to young women to hyper-sexualize themselves as a result of the things that their male counterparts are viewing on the internet.

One of Morris’ subjects, Cristal, 14, has a Facebook page populated by self-portraits of her in her room in various super-sexy poses. When Morris finally meets her, we learn that this isn’t anything scandalous in Cristal’s world:

When I meet Cristal at a McDonald’s on East 14th Street, a few blocks from the high school where she is a freshman, she’s bundled up and buttoned up and decidedly more demure than she appears online. I learn that she’s 14, that she has a boyfriend, and that she would never consider posting a photo where she’s nude. “Like, naked?” she asks, aghast. “That’s completely out of the question. I don’t do that, not even with my boyfriend.” But she has no qualms about getting the juices flowing, or reveling in the secondhand sexual validation Facebook allows. She pulls the money shot up on her phone and studies it for a moment. “All it really showed was my thighs,” she says before giving in to a little frisson of pride in her developing looks. “But like, no cocky shit, but I have a body, so when I take a picture, it shows. Everything is, like, out there.”

The other girls interviewed in the article express a similar casual attitude towards having to be sexy at such a young age, saying that the ubiquity of online porn has changed boys’ expectations and desires. “Guys wouldn’t really know about that much stuff if it weren’t for the internet… It freaks them out,” Kelsey, 16, tells Morris. She then offers this insightful analogy:

“I think it mostly happens to guys ’cause they’re just like, ‘Oh, look, that’s really cool.’ You know how when we were little girls, mostly we wore dresses and stuff, and we didn’t want to jump in the mud or anything or splash in puddles that can get us dirty?” The guys, on the other hand, splashed eagerly away. “It’s, like, the same. It’s disgusting to look at that dirty stuff, but the boys are just like, ‘Whatever, it’s life.’ ”

Additionally, Morris’ interviews demonstrate that the ways that kids are learning about sex have evolved from the days of awkward fumbling in the back of a dark movie theater. Today, there’s no need for a learning curve — everything one could possibly want to know about sex is available at the click of a mouse, from the most basic stuff, to things that many adults might have never dreamed of.

Eventually, the article concludes that the web isn’t necessarily a bad influence on youth sexuality and relationships — but it is certainly an entirely new world that today’s teens and pre-teens charting out, with all new instruments and no guidelines at hand.

Read the entire article over at NYMag.com >

Marriage is Good for Your Health

Jaded cynics, check this out: the UK’s Daily Mail is reporting that a happy marriage can lead to a longer, healthier life.

According to studies conducted in seven European countries, the mental and physical health benefits of a stable, committed marriage can reduce chances of premature death by 10 – 15 percent.

One psychologist said of the findings:

Commitment seems to provide networks of supportive and helpful relationships, beginning with the spouse or partner, leading to more healthy lifestyles and better emotional and physical health.

Read the entire article over at the Daily Mail >


What to expect from this blog

A few stories that you might find on this blog over the next three months:

Interview with a Matchmaker

As the stigma attached to online-dating rapidly evaporates, more people are turning to the likes of Match.com and eHarmony to find their one and only; according to Online Dating Magazine, around 20 million people visit online dating sites each month. In an environment like this, one might assume that the old tradition of “Matchmaking” has all but disappeared. Not so, says the New York Times: the industry is actually booming. I’d like to speak with a few matchmakers to discuss their business, and why they think it’s a better alternative to both traditional and online dating.

The Mail-Order Bride Is Real

If you thought the mail-order bride was just the stuff of movies and bad jokes, get ready for this: the Today show reports that the U.S. “international matchmaking” industry estimated a $2 billion revenue in 2010.  I want to speak with the founders of the largest mail-order bride companies in the States, as well as to some of their clients, to find out how the process works. Additionally, I would want to speak to several organizations focused on protecting immigrant women, who are adamantly against this industry.

A Night Out with a Professional Wingwoman

Forget wingmen: wingwomen are the new standard for guys looking to meet single ladies out at bars or clubs. Fortunately for those men with few female friends, there are several services happy to set you up with a fun, outgoing woman whose job it is to help you meet girls. Having been approached by one recently, I think it would be interesting to interview a few of these women, and perhaps spend a night out on the town with them while they are working.

The Exclusive New Dating Site Hooking up New York College Students

One of the latest entries into the online dating market: “Date My School,” a website dedicated exclusively to setting up Columbia, NYU, and FIT students. I would like to do an interview with the site’s founders, and perhaps also talk to a few of the people who have actually used the service.

… along with other daily thoughts, random observations, and interesting links to stories on the state of modern love, dating, and romance.

Welcome!

“Love really is all around.” – Love Actually

Love, romance, and relationships are central to the human experience. Regardless of age, gender, or sexuality, everyone can relate to the emotions and actions inspired by “love.”

In the modern world, our view of love and relationships is also shaped by the media and businesses, who benefit from this most basic human feeling.

This blog will cover stories and observations having to do with love — from individuals’ personal experiences to the people who are directly involved in the business of romance.

While most posts will be New York-centric, I hope to explore themes that are universal.