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Naked News: Men Visit Sex Workers for Companionship

August 10, 2012

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We have a dream that one day, people will deal with sex rationally and reasonably. Sure, we know that everyone loses it a little when they’re head over heels in lust — but we’re talking about something much deeper and more ingrained and more screwed up. Like orthodox Jewish men blurring their glasses so they don’t have to look at immodest women … or men visiting prostitutes for emotional intimacy … or the U.K. making it illegal to own depictions of sexual acts (like fisting) that are perfectly legal to engage in (just ask Christian Grey).

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Survey Debunks Some of Our Least Favorite Sex Myths

August 2, 2012

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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, for example — 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…?

But some of the other research isn’t half bad, and even debunks some of our least favorite myths about sex — always a good thing. Some highlights:

  • The Myth: Men are afraid of sex toys. The research: Men are more willing to try a vibrator in bed than women: ¬†74% of men — compared to 70% of women — are open to using a vibe during sex. Still, both figures are pretty encouraging!
  • The Myth: Having kids destroys your sex life. The research: Parents are more likely to have spontaneous sex, sex in different places than couples without children, and they’re more likely to use a vibrator, too.
  • The Myth: It’s all about the sext. The research: Americans are more likely to have experimented with dirty talk, used lubricant, or had sex outdoors than they are to have sexted or sent a dirty pic or video.
  • The Myth: Sex is a competition, and more is always better. The research: Bay Area residents have the least amount of sex compared to other areas of the country¬†(120 times a year) and shortest sessions (31 minutes), yet they have high rates of satisfaction (65%) and are least likely to fake an orgasm (31%).
  • The Myth: Longer is always better. The research: Only 34% of women said they wished sex lasted longer (compared to 41% of men).
  • The Myth: Men never fake, that’s just a girl thing. The research: Sure, more women fake orgasms (nearly 60%)… but 19% of men have faked, too.

‚Äʬ†This post¬†is a part of Sundance Channel‚Äôs¬†SUNfiltered Blog
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Just How Different Are Men’s and Women’s Fantasy Lives?

July 30, 2012

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  • 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 about the way women and men approach sex. Because people’s prior beliefs about how women and men approach sex can really affect the way they interpret research on the matter.

    Take a¬†recent¬†article in an Australian newspaper¬†that begins, “We’ve all heard it before: Our brains are our most powerful sexual organs.¬†But what goes on inside those well-used organs is largely down to gender. According to new research…” In other words, men’s fantasy lives are from Mars and women’s are from Venus.

    The article then links to a press release about the original research… with the following headline:¬†“A study shows that men and women have the¬†same¬†sexual fantasies”¬†[sarcastic italics ours]. To really underscore the point, the first line of the press release reads, “A study conducted at the University of Granada [has] demonstrated that there are¬†not significant differences¬†between men’s and women’s sexual fantasies.” [ditto on the italics]

    Um, we know that people are pretty invested in the idea that men and women are really different in bed, but this takes the cake!¬†What the study¬†actually¬†found is that men and women tend to fantasize about the¬†same¬†things, but at¬†different¬†rates. Which we think is totally fascinating — so we have no idea why people who feel the need to misinterpret the data. (Oh, wait, we¬†do¬†have an idea: People are comfortable with the idea that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. They don’t necessarily like the idea that women can enjoy sex as much and as creatively as men.)

    The researchers interviewed 2,250 Spaniards (half men, half women)¬† between 18 and 73 years old, who had been in a heterosexual relationship for at least 6 months. Here are a few of the fascinating — and true! — things they discovered:

    Men are more likely than women to fantasize about “exploratory sexual activities” like group sex. Then again, we’d like to see this research repeated in another year or so, when 50 Shades has been fully absorbed into our collective sexual consciousness.

  • Women are more likely than men to fantasize about being forced into sex. Then again, perhaps they’re just more likely to admit to this — at least, that’s what our Wise Guys think. By the way, this article on HuffPoUK has some great insights into women’s fantasies about coercive sex.
  • Both men and women have intimate or romantic fantasies about their long-term partner.
  • Overall, men fantasize more often than women (exact figures not given).
  • That said, women have pleasant sexual fantasies more often than men (again, exact figures not given). Or perhaps women are just less conflicted about their fantasy topics.

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Naked News: How STDs Lead to More Foot Fetishes

July 20, 2012

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Squid have sex for three hours, STDs can cause a rise in foot fetishes, Domino’s Pizza wants you associate date rape with extra cheese, and Charlie Sheen likes to tweet during sex. Welcome to an edition of Naked News guaranteed to make you feel like your sex life is vanilla — and to make you feel okay about being vanilla.

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It’s Not You, It’s Your Clutter

July 17, 2012

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When is an item a significant object worth collecting or displaying on the mantlepiece — or saving to sell on eBay at a later date — and when is it clutter? And if it’s clutter, is it threatening your relationship? The subject of household clutter has been on our minds lately. Em was at a reading last week for the forthcoming book¬†Significant Objects, a literary experiment that began its life on eBay. Basically, the editors (New York Times Magazine writer Rob Walker and Em’s old friend Josh Glenn of¬†HiLoBrow.com) wanted to see if attaching a fictional backstory to a tchotchke would increase its value (turns out it did). We’ll write more on the book itself when it comes out next month.

Anyway, in an interview in the Home & Garden section of the¬†New York Times, Glenn talks about the project and explains why he actually doesn’t have an abundance of objects, significant or otherwise, lying around his house (and he’d have a convenient excuse, as he and his editing partner raided flea markets and charity shops for the Significant Objects project): “I’ve been reading way too many women’s magazines for a client. And I think this is what they’re saying: ‘Stress causes cancer. Clutter causes stress.’ So, basically, clutter causes cancer.”

So that was a little tongue-in-cheek, perhaps, but therapists and the¬†Wall Street Journal have his back. According to a recent¬†article, clutter is as common a marriage issue as sex or finances, but it’s just not talked about as much because people feel silly or petty bringing it up. Because, really, how do you tell someone that their overflowing in-box or their sprawling collection of nodding dogs is a threat to your marriage? (Okay, maybe the latter should be a given.)

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Naked News: How Sex Research Explains Pretty Much Everything

July 6, 2012

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We have a love-hate relationship with sex research — on the one hand, we think it’s incredibly important to study how and why we do (or don’t do) what we do when the lights go out. But on the other hand — well, a lot of this research can be a little on the flimsy side. This week, sex research highlights teen sexting, work-life balance, and how to fake love.

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This Is Your Brain on Facebook

June 28, 2012

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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?!

Well, in case you were wondering, some nerds (sorry, scientists) at Harvard University have now confirmed this. In official lab lingo, what you’re doing is called “self-disclosure” — even when you’re just posting about what an awesome poo your toddler just took in the potty, or how much you love your snookums on your second wedding anniversary. And the more you self-disclose, and the more attention you get for it, the more your dopamine levels spike. It’s that whole pleasure and anticipation reward center in your brain — where good sex and good food are also logged.¬†The¬†research was published last month in a journal called Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Naked News: One More Reason Cheaters Suck… Unsafe Sex

June 22, 2012

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This week Conan apologizes for a trans joke but unfortunately no one apologizes for genital whitening products, Olympic gender testing, or rape as a plot device to “strengthen” female characters. And we think that everyone who ever judged open relationships as “slutty” should apologize — it turns out that “monogamous” cheaters are way more likely to forgo a condom.

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Naked News: Homophobia Is Down, Gaydar Is Up & Mankinis Are on the Way

May 18, 2012

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Online Dating’s Fatal Flaws

May 15, 2012

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Researches 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:

Online dating’s first big weakness:¬†the overdependence on proflie browsing, since studies show that singles CANNOT get a good sense of whether they’d be compatible with a potential partner based on that person’s profile.

Online dating’s second big weakness:¬†the overheated emphasis on matching algorithms, since there is no evidence supporting the claims of sites using such algorithms — the available evidence suggests that the mathematical algorithms at matching sites are negligibly better than matching people¬†at random.

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