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Sex, Love, Dating and Relationships, California Style

  • CLARA Auditorium 1425 24th Street Sacramento, CA, 95816 United States (map)

Listen to the podcast of this discussion.

We'll be honest: California Groundbreakers got its start, in part, as a self-esteem boost and an "I'll show you" determination to bounce back after a bad, depressing breakup. Then came the flurry of online dating, the swiping left and right, the confusion about what the response should be when the first text from a potential suitor is "Hey," the trying to look for the positives in the opposite sex within a 75-mile radius, the trying to ignore the negatives, and listening to everyone's mixed advice, from "date a lot" to "try to meet people organically" to "just follow your heart."

We know we're not alone. Friends of ours are going through similar journeys through the world of romance and feeling frustrated, confused, angry, fortunate or blissful -- sometimes all at once. And it doesn't just apply to singles. We know committed couples trying to understand how their better half works, and sometimes tearing their hair out in confusion.

This may not be considered as "serious" a topic for discussion as policy and politics, but relationships are truly serious matters of the heart. Most of us want that special someone, sometimes for a night or for a lifetime. And California has had a big impact on how dating and relationships are done around the globe -- websites and apps that started here include, Tinder, Grindr, Snapchat and Down (formerly Bang With Friends). And don't forget "Netflix and Chill."

Listen to this fun discussion about dating, love, sex and relationships -- and how California's culture, technology and higher-ed research are changing how we experience them.

This is not a pity party. Whether you're single, married, committed or "it's complicated," you'll learn something interesting about why the heart wants what it wants.

* Jenn Brian, CEO of The Dating Queen, which does date planning, coaching and matchmaking

* Adam Busch, founder of DateNight XO, a weekly email that provides ideas for date nights

* Joey Garcia, relationships columnist for Sacramento News & Review

* Patrick Harbison, owner of Patrick Harbison Public Relations

* Leigh Smith, graduate researcher in the Attraction and Relationships Laboratory at UC Davis

* Jordan Venema, contributing writer for Sacramento magazine -- he wrote the "Dating Game" feature in this month's issue