Much of this week’s news was slightly infuriating: Animals get birth control but humans don’t? The mistress gets punished but the married man doesn’t? Rapists get rights but their victims don’t? Aaarrrggghhh!
We wrote a post a few weeks back about research into men’s and women’s fantasy lives — and in particular, how often this sort of research is willfully misinterpreted. That got us wondering what other new fantasy research might be out there… and we came across a fascinating study about why women have rape fantasies — or ravishment fantasies, as we prefer to call them (more on that issue below).
We’re always a little skeptical when sex research is sponsored by a commercial product — as opposed to, say, an academic institution. That said, the commercially driven surveys tend to have a lot of money and resources behind them, and every now and then, interesting stuff comes out of them. Take the new survey from Trojan — sure, it includes not particularly helpful stats, like the fact that 70% of people “are open to trying a new condom designed to enhance orgasmic pleasure.” Oh really, Trojan? And we don’t suppose you happen to know anything about where we could find a condom like that, do you?
Are women’s and men’s fantasy lives vastly different, or are they basically the same except for a few variations on theme and frequency? We suppose it depends on who you ask and what they already believe. Because people’s prior beliefs about how women and men approach sex can really affect the way they interpret research on the matter.
Article: This is your brain on Facebook
Did you know that when someone “likes” your Facebook status — or, even better, actually comments on it — that warm fuzzy feeling you get is akin to the feeling you get from good food or good sex? Of course you knew that! Why else do you waste so many hours on social networking sites, over-sharing the minutiae of your life, and willingly sharing so much private data with massive technology companies who can then tailor advertising to you?!
This week, homophobia is down, gaydar is up, female objectification is over the top, and home HIV tests are around the corner. Oh, and a mankini is on the way:
Article: Online dating's fatal flaws
Researchers recently published a book-length article in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest on the scientific flaws of online dating. They wrote a layperson’s summary for Scientific American, but even that was three pages long (practically an eternity in internet time). So here’s what you need to know in a nutshell:
The ladies got a rough deal this week, what with never being taken outside to play as little girls, being left behind by the Right, being told they don’t care about contraception, and getting spit on yet again by Tucker Max and PETA. Fortunately, Charlize Theron got some aggression out (on tape) on behalf of all womankind:
A recent survey by the Boston Consulting Group asked people in the U.S. which key lifestyle habits they would be willing to give up instead of the Internet for a year. 73% would give up alcohol; 69% would give up coffee (we love how close those two figures are!); 77% would give up chocolate (really? 23% need chocolate more than they need the internet?!); 10% would give up their car; and 7% would stop showering (we’re guessing those 7% are all college guys).
Researchers out of Chicago University’s Booth Business School recently conducted a study on people’s ability to resist their desires. It turns out that people can resist cigarettes, they can resist alcohol, they can resist sex, and they can resist the urge to spend money… but what they really really can’t resist is the urge to engage in social and other types of media. In other words, checking email, browsing Facebook, posting to Twitter, etc.
We’ve long known that The One Who Got Away makes for great late-night Google fantasies. And that makes sense: you rifle through your memory bank after another bad breakup — or after another inane argument with your spouse — and wonder how life would have been different if you’d stayed with X. Because through your rose-tinted glasses, you forget about how your ex chewed with their mouth open and only remember the grand romantic gestures.
Why porn that women actually like (i.e. with normal looking guys like James Dean, above) makes men so uncomfortable.
Does success as an artist bring you more sexual conquests? Yes and no, say researchers.
It’s a favorite question of ours…okay, of mine (i.e. Lo’s), and my personal answer is that yes, there are differences, but not as many or as great as our culture presumes. The bias we have as a society actually influences the development of boys’ and girls’ brains (which are elastic) so significantly as they grow that by the time they’re adults there’s much more difference than there would be if we lived in a more egalitarian, less Men-Are-From-Mars world. In other words, it’s a self-fullfilling prophecy. So while there are differences, we would do better to celebrate our similarities, or at least our potential for overlapping skills and desires and tendencies, so that both sexes don’t feel limited by narrow gender roles…
Article: Why is sex fun?
The Discovery Channel is in the middle of airing a series called Curiosity. Current and upcoming episodes include “What Sank the Titanic” and “Is There a Parallel Universe?” Not sure how we missed the last one, “Why Is Sex Fun?” hosted by Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Kind of funny but mostly creepy: Jim Carrey confesses his love to Emma Stone via online video.
Speaking of weird celebrity confessions of love, Sinead O’Connor is apparently into anal and on the prowl. (Is this just some weird performance art project of hers? One hopes.)
A recent study published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine looked at the masturbation habits of American teenagers (age 14 – 17), and the results are likely to please both the self-lovers and those who think that adolescent boys and girls should be forced to sleep in mittens to keep themselves pure.
We’re often asked what’s “normal” when it comes to sex frequency, and we always decline to answer — we hate to use the word “normal” when it comes to sex, period. That’s something that you’ve got to figure out on your own time, and we refuse to judge you (unless you like to do it while listening to Mariah Carey). But if you’d like to know what the average American is doing — at least, according to Trojan, and we admit that it might be in their interest to exaggerate our sexual activity to get us keeping up with the Joneses — then a new survey will enlighten you. It’s the Trojan 2010 U.S. Sex Census.
In a recent article for the New York Times, statistician Nate Silver hooked up with OkCupid’s Nate Rudder to determine which day of the week is best to meet someone at a bar. They came up with something called the “sexual availability index,” and found that you’re most likely to get laid on a Wednesday night. So here are our best guess at why Wednesday’s the winner…
Whether you’re not really into porn and only enjoy the occasional romance novel sex scene or you’re an addict whose love of Barely Legal Asian Sluts is jeopardizing your career and family life, there are three researchers from across the pond who’d love to hear from you. Clarissa Smith, Feona Attwood and Martin Barker have put together an online pornography survey that they say is “unlike almost all the previous research that has been conducted on pornography.”:
In the past, pornography has overwhelmingly been assumed to be a ‘problem’, and the only really important questions to ask about it are – how much do people (and especially children) encounter it, and how great is the ‘harm’ that it does? This research is different.
Our project is concerned with the everyday uses of pornography, and how the people who use it feel it fits into their lives. Pornography is of course a highly topical issue, subject to many opposing views and ‘strong opinions’. And we are not saying that there are no moral or political issues. But we are saying that the voices of users and enjoyers have been swamped. In fact, there is very little research that engages with the users of pornography, asking how, when and why they turn to it.
In French tickler news: Our male ancestors had penile spines.
Among gay men, penis size correlates with bedroom roles (the bigger, the bossier, i.e. tops).
It may not be news to any of you ladies out there who’ve enjoyed the thrill of a no-strings-attached hook-up, but for those who buy into the evo-psych pop notion that women are only interested in high-status resource providers rather than hotties (i.e. the opposite of men’s supposed eternal motivations) there’s a study published in…
Scientists have long pondered the mystery of why humans, unlike other species, cry emotional tears. A new study provides a few answers — as well as raising a whole bunch of new questions. Basically, researchers found that men who sniffed drops of women’s emotional tears became less sexually aroused than when they sniffed a saline solution that had been dribbled down women’s cheeks. The sexual arousal was measured in a number of ways, including testosterone levels, skin responses, brain imaging and also self-reporting (i.e. this study wasn’t just a bunch of guys claiming that “teary chicks are a boner killer”).
A new study shows that delaying sex until marriage will lead to a more satisfying and stable relationship, according to researchers at — get this — Brigham Young University. That’s the right, the university whose honor code bans porn, gay sex, sex outside of marriage, cussing, sleeveless shirts, alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, and tea (tea!) claims to have science on its side. Apparently couples who had sex the earliest — after the first date, say, or even in the first month of dating — had the worst relationship outcomes.
Article: The best sex and love news of 2010
Yesterday we told you about the sex and love news from 2010 that most pissed us off and/or depressed us — dubious studies, dubious reporting, and rampant STDs, et al. Today we hope to put a smile back on your face with some of the love and sex news that most inspired us. You’re welcome.
A kink study finds that the majority of men are open to fetishes once you get them behind closed doors. Just don’t expect them to dish about it over Monday Night Football.
College gals finally close the marriage gap — new research shows that white women with college degrees are just as likely to marry as those who didn’t graduate from college.
Okay, so yesterday we told you that the web is “luring” more women into porn addiction — but there’s a silver lining. We finally have proof that women are visual creatures too!
Article: The worst sex and love news of 2010
Every week, all year long, we tell you all about what’s going on in the world of sex and love. Well, not quite all — you might notice that we steer clear of stories about sex crimes (because that’s not the kind of sex this site is about) and stories about teachers sleeping with their students (because we’re not Fox). But everything else, you’ll find here. Not everything we report on pleases us — in fact, some of it straight-up pisses us off. Here are the headlines and studies that depressed us most in the past year. Tune in tomorrow for the news that put a smile back on our faces.
Economically dependent men are more likely to cheat on their female partners. We remain unconvinced that this is actual proven fact rather than just dubious study, but either way: boo!
That “six-feet-tall” hottie you’re corresponding with online? Yeah, he’s totally lying.