Tag Archives: Science

The Science Of Porn Addiction

This video explains how watching pornography can stimulate the release of dopamine, the chemical most closely associated with addictions and habit forming behaviour. There is some controversy over weather addiction is the proper term when not referring to a substance addiction but the video makes a pretty strong argument that the physiological effects of porn addiction are similar to that of any other addiction.

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Condoms Don’t Make Sex Feel Any Worse, Science Told Me So

I’ve heard a lot of guys claim that they don’t wear condoms regularly because it makes sex feel worse. They don’t experience as much pleasure during sex when they wear a condom compared to when they don’t. Wel, science has officially called bullshit! A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that “sexual arousal, ease of erection, overall pleasure and orgasm weren’t much different” between people who wore condoms and who didn’t. So take your lame excuses elsewhere gents.

I have both worn condoms and had unprotected sex and in both cases it was most definitely sex. I became aroused, thrashed around a bit and then came to orgasm. If I was older than 21, my partner probably also climaxed and we went about getting back to whatever it was we were doing. In none of these cases, protected or not, did I experience any more or less pleasure as a result of wearing a condom. And the same seems to be true with pretty much everyone surveyed in this study.

Now there is one issue with this particular study…it was funded by Trojan. Yes, the condom company, Trojan. Yikes! But the head researcher (and one of my favorite sex writers) Debby Herbenick has said that the condom company didn’t influence their findings at all, some of which were not actually in favor of condom use. It turns out that men who didn’t also use lubricant in conjunction with condoms had significantly lower rates of arousal than men who didn’t wear condoms. This was especially the case for men who didn’t use lubricant on their penis before applying the condom.

So the “condoms don’t feel good” crowd were right, sort of. They were right that it didn’t feel good, but it was only because they were doing it wrong. Put some lube on your penis, put your penis in a condom, put some lube on the condom, stop complaining. I’m sorry, but “It doesn’t feel as good” is the shittiest excuse to expose you and your partner to all the risks of unprotected sex. And now we know that it’s not even a valid one.

Read more about the study here

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Want To Really Participate In Sexual Science? You May Be Eligible To Take One Of These Three Scientific Surveys

It came to my attention that over at The Psychology Of Human Sexuality they are in need of participants for a number of scientific surveys about sex and relationships. I don’t know about any of you, but I’m all about this kind of thing. Naturally, with any good study or survey, the more participants there are, the more reliable the findings. So please, if you are eligible, take one or more of the surveys and share this with your friends. I’ll be sure to let you guys know if/when I hear about the results.

  • Attitudes Toward Sexual Relationships – You must currently have at least one “friend with benefits” and/or be involved in some type of romantic relationship in order to participate. You will be asked a series of questions about your relationship(s) and sexual attitudes.
  • Survey of Men’s Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors – This survey is open to men who have sex with other men, regardless of their sexual identity and relationship status. You will be asked questions about your sexual history and current sexual practices.
  • Consensual Nonmonogamy – This study is open to persons involved in any type of consensual, nonexclusive intimate relationship(s). You will be asked questions about your relationship beliefs, practices, and desires.

Now go forth and be a part of sexual science!

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Porn Study Gets Scrapped Due To Lack Of Men Who Have Never Watched Porn

Every good study needs a control group. The control is the group that is essentially left alone to make sure that some outside variable isn’t causing the results of the study. So this Montreal University study wanted to see how porn affected the behaviour of men in their 20s. In order to do this they wanted to compare their behaviour to that of men who had never watched porn. The group that had never watched porn would be the control group for the study. It transpires, however, that they couldn’t find even one man in his 20s who hadn’t watched porn. Not one. They had to scrap the entire study because their control group didn’t exist.

Apparently in North America these days almost all men have, at one point or another, watched porn. Though they couldn’t go through with their study, the researchers did make a couple of findings about male porn viewing habits. Men, on average, first watch porn by age 10. Single men watch an average of 40 minutes of porn three times a week while men in relationships watched an average of 20 minutes twice a week.

 

 

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How Grapefruit May Get You Pregnant

Grapefruit can have harmful interactions with many different medications, check out my post at The Feronia Project on how grapefruit can affect hormonal birth control.

I blog once a month at the sex education blog of the Southwest and Central Florida branch of  Planned Parenthood. The blog is called The Feronia Project and it is an awesome resource for information about sex, pregnancy, birth control, gender and myriad other topics in that vein.  Some more info about them:

Who They Are:

The authors of The Feronia Project vary in our upbringing, education, and experience, but the common thread between us is our unwavering belief that reproductive rights are human rights.

What They Do:

This site provides a safe place to learn about sexual health, engage in discussion about social and reproductive justice, and find trusted resources for comprehensive, medically-accurate sex education.

For more information on Planned Parenthood click here.

How Grapefruit May Get You Pregnant

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Could Gonorrhea Become Incurable In Our Lifetime?

Gonorrhea is the second most common STI that one can contract. It’s symptoms include but aren’t limited to pain while urinating, discharge, itching, swelling and the potential for infertility in women. It is not a fun thing to have but thankfully it is very treatable. If you find yourself with gonorrhea, it’s likely that a doctor will prescribe you some antibiotics, you’ll take them and the gonorrhea will be dealt with. Can you see where I’m going with this?

As with any illness treated with antibiotics, the potential for an antibiotic resistant strain of the illness is always present. Unfortunately, the first cases of antibiotic resistant gonorrhea have recently been found in North America. There have already been cases found in other parts of the world, but let’s be honest, if it’s not happening here, North Americans don’t care as much about it. Here’s what was found:

In a study released Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a group of scientists led by Vanessa Allen of Public Health Ontario, found that 6.7 percent of patients with gonorrhea at a Toronto clinic still had the disease after a round of cephalosporins, the last effective oral antibiotic used to treat the disease. Of 133 patients who returned for a “test of cure” visit, nine remained gonorrhea-positive. This is the first time cephalosporin-resistant gonorrhea has been found in humans in North America.

When cephalosporin doesn’t work to treat gonorrhea, an injected antibiotic called ceftriaxone has been shown to be effective. The problem is that it’s only a matter of time before a strain of ceftriaxone resistant gonorrhea comes along. At that point there will be no way of treating the illness, incurable gonorrhea. Shitty.

I don’t know what the takeaway is here. Practice safer sex I guess. Take all your antibiotics if you’re ever prescribed them. Let’s hope that science can come up with something because I wouldn’t wish incurable gonorrhea on my worst enemy. Wear protection, aim for good, open and honest communication with all your sexual partners. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to them about their sexual history maybe you shouldn’t feel comfortable having sex with them. Sorry for the bummer everyone.

Via US News 

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Scientists Working On Crazy New Discrete Female Condom Made Out Of Nano-Fabric…Or Something

Admittedly, this one is a little over my head. Scientists at the University of Washington published an article detailing their new idea for a female condom that protects against both unwanted pregnancy and HIV. It uses a method called electrospinning which is basically nano-knitting. Its a way of using an electric field to create extremely fine fibers with varying degrees of strength, shape and solubility. Because they are soluble and so versatile these fibers may turn out to be the best delivery method for contraceptive medicines.

So basically they make a really thin condom but its make up is able to both physically stop sperm and release chemicals that can kill sperm and stop the spread of STIs. Now, not everyone is super trigger happy to put a bunch of anti-HIV drugs in their system but presumably people who’s partners are HIV positive are going to love this idea and also it would stand to reason that they wouldn’t all have to have a chemical component if they also create a physical barrier.

The fibers can be made to dissolve quickly to create an immediate barrier or over the course of a few days in a sort of slow release birth control kinda way. If this thing goes into development (and it looks like it will because Bill and Melinda Gates have already thrown a million bucks at it) it’s impossible to know if people will actually use it. The major up side is that this is a contraceptive that protects against STIs that is in the hands of women and, as I’ve said in the past, this is something that women should take advantage of.

New advances in the field of sexual health are always interesting but not necessarily worth holding your breath for. There are ways that are available right now to take control of your sexual health, not the least of wich is educating yourself and communicating with your partners. So until the nano-bots are swimming through our bloodstream and eating up our disease we should probably get to know what is available to us in the here and now. Future sex will have to wait for the world of tomorrow true believers.

Via University Of Washington

 

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What The Shape Of Your Lips Says About Your Orgasms

You know that dip in your upper lip? Well it has a definitively unsexy name: the tubercle. Anyways, the shape of woman’s tubercle may determine wether or not she is able to experience vaginal orgasm. Vaginal orgasms are orgasms from penetration as opposed to orgasms from clitoral stimulation. Many women have difficulty reaching orgasm especially vaginally.

A new study posits that a prominent tubercle may be a genetic marker of vaginal orgasm ability. Genetic Marker?! What’s that?!

[Insert crappy biology lesson by totally unqualified blogger] So humans only have 23 chromosomes that carry our genetic information, but we have, like, a bajillion different genes. So a bunch of different genes are bunched into each chromosome. So often if you  have one trait it means that you’re likely to have another one too. So trait A is a genetic marker (means you probably have) trait B, because they were passed on to you through the same chromosome.  This is why, hypothetically, that if one of your parents gave you the gene for having vaginal orgasms, they also gave you the gene for having a prominent tubercle, or so this study claims. [End of terribly simplified explanation]

So, the more prominent and sharply raised your lip dip is, the more likely you (and your children) will have penetrative orgasms! For all the other women, fear not! Clitoral orgasm ability is unaffected by lip shape.

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Are Women’s Orgasms Different Than Men’s?

There is this popular notion that men and women experience very different things when they orgasm. It is as though they are two completely different things all together. And this notion is not based on nothing. It does often seem that the two sexes’ orgasms are qualitatively different. But what does science have to say about the matter?

Well, in the early years of this century, Dutch scientists studied the PET scans of men and women during orgasm. PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans display images of blood flow to the different parts of the brain. These studies showed that blood was flowing to different parts of the brain for men and women during sexual arousal but not during orgasm. As far as brain blood flow was concerned, men and women’s orgasms looked pretty much the same.

In 2012, however, a new study was done using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanners, which are pretty much a better, faster and higher tech PET scan. At first this study showed similar results to the older ones but upon closer investigation it was noticed that there were some significant diferences between the sexes and between individuals. The neuroscientists involved in the fMRI studies have stated that they need a larger group of participants to make any solid conclusions about the differences between the sexes.

So are women’s orgasms different than mens? No? Yes? Maybe?

Science will tell us eventually, but unfortunately we still can’t be sure right now. Neuroscience is a burgeoning field for research and as they say, the brain is the biggest sexual organ. There is a lot of good work being done and to be done in neuroscience in regards to sexuality and gender. I’m looking forward to the coming years and decades to see what more we can learn about ourselves and each other.

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Will Oxytocin Keep Him Monogamous? Probably Not.

There are a number of articles making the rounds on the internet this week claiming that taking oxytocin, sometimes called the “love hormone,” will make men in relationships more likely to remain monogamous. This piece in the LA Times states:

Oxytocin didn’t have the same effect on single heterosexual men, who comfortably parked themselves between 21 and 24 inches from the comely female stranger. The men who declared themselves in “stable, monogamous” relationships and got a dose of the hormone chose to stand, on average, about 6 1/2 inches farther away.

Correct me if I’m wrong but the only thing that this seems to prove is that men in relationships stand further away from a “comely female stranger” than single men. It’s a bit of a leap to then say that oxytocin promotes monogamy. Even if you could make that kind of a claim, isn’t it possible that it merely promotes fidelity? Perhaps we should replicate the study with men who are in polyamorous relationships. I would be interested to see the results.

I’m not saying that oxytocin is absolutely not promoting monogamy in attached men, I am saying that this particular study isn’t convincing me and the media (as is their job) is creating a mountain out of a 6 1/2 inch mole hill.

 

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