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At O'Shea's Irish Pub, let's talk about sex (and science), baby

One of the underlying themes of the free Science on Tap pub talks put on by the South Florida Science Center is that your brain is the most powerful tool in your body when it comes to catching the attention of the opposite sex. On Thursday, they get right down to it when Palm Beach County sexologist Dr. Jason Carter leads a gathering called “Laws of Attraction: The Science of Sex Appeal.”

This will be the third Science on Tap get-together, which are based on the science café trend that began in college towns and other hubs of scientific study, offering a casual, layman’s-level discussion with an expert while kicked back with a craft beer, wine or coffee.

South Florida Science Center organizers say each of their events at O’Shea’s Irish Pub in West Palm Beach has been more popular than the last. The inaugural session, with a neuroscience theme, included about 100 people, and Thursday’s session is expected to draw twice that.

Carter will bring a wealth of experience to the table at O’Shea’s: He’s a clinical sexologist with a Ph.D. from Nova Southeastern, has a background in law enforcement and is a veteran lecturer on sex and relationships. Carter’s never done a talk in a bar, but he wasn’t surprised that acquaintances at the science center thought of him.

“I’m a 6-foot-4, red-headed Irish guy, so I figure when they talked about beer and sex, I was the first one to come to mind,” Carter says with a laugh.

Carter is well versed in the “measurable aspects” of sexual attraction, the physical and chemical reactions that occur, but he plans to keep things light Thursday night.

How’s this for a conversation starter, gentlemen? According to his research, Carter says most women are more open to meeting someone, and men find them most attractive, during the most fertile point of their menstrual cycle.

When women can’t explain why a certain guy made their heart skip a beat, Carter says the science will show her attracted to obvious factors, his physical fitness, and less obvious ones, such as facial symmetry.

Carter says the fact that he is married is a triumph of good personality over bad symmetry. “I’d hate to put my face in a computer and find out,” he says, laughing.

But there’s hope for even the most inarticulate and asymmetrical among us, Carter says, referencing a  scientific theory learned by most single college students.

“The longer they’re going to be at O’Shea’s, the more the women drink, the better their odds get,” he says.

“Laws of Attraction: The Science of Sex Appeal” is 8 p.m. Thursday at O’Shea’s Irish Pub, 531 Clematis St., in West Palm Beach. Admission is free.  Call 561-832-1988 or visit

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