There has always been great debate between sex-positive free-speech porn advocates and anti-porn chicken-little moralists. We’ve always fallen somewhere in the middle: you can’t really legislate desire and fantasy, but at the same time all this porn, like too much fast food, can’t be good for you. An interesting site we’ve found that seems to rely heavily on science without any moralistic judgment is YourBrainOnPorn.com — it smartly and succinctly explains how heavy porn use can have unwanted effects on the brain and offers suggestions for reversing those effects. The founders of this site have a blog on Psychology Today called Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow and just this week posted one guy’s account of his “rebooting,” an attempt to rewire his brain circuitry with a porn/masturbation/orgasm fast — pretty fascinating stuff:
We have long repeated the adage that confidence — whether real or faked — leads to success on the pick-up scene and in the dating world. But a new study by a psychology professor at Queens College in New York suggests the exact opposite: insecure people try harder in the dating world, which can lead to success at least as often as it can lead to your appearing desperate and needy.Â â€śInsecure individuals [present] themselves as warm, engaging, and humorous people,â€ť the professor, Claudia Brumbaugh, writes. In other words, maybe insecure people who fake confidence actually do better than confident people who take their self-confidence for granted.
Teens now spend a whopping seven hours per day on various forms of media. So the American Academy of Pediatrics just issued a revised policy statement, â€śSexuality, Contraception, and the Media,â€ť in the September 2010 print issue of Pediatrics (published online Aug. 30). In addition to calling for the creation of a national task force on children, adolescents and the media to be convened by child advocacy groups in conjunction with the CDC or National Institutes of Health, it includes updated recommendations for pediatricians and parents on how to deal with this sex-soaked culture. Among the new recommendations since 2001:
In addition to supervising their childrenâ€™s traditional media use, parents (as well as pediatricians) should understand social networking sites and counsel kids about using them.
The entertainment industry should be encouraged to produce more programming that contains responsible sexual content and that focuses on the interpersonal relationship in which sexual activity takes place. Meanwhile, advertisers should stop using sex to sell products.
Pediatricians and the government should urge and encourage the broadcast industry to air advertisements for birth control products.
Ads for erectile dysfunction drugs, which can be confusing to young viewers, should not air until after 10 p.m.
Parents can use media story lines as teachable moments to discuss sex with their teens instead of doing â€śthe big talk.â€ť
A study by Bill McCarthy of the University of California and Eric Grodsky of the University of Minnesota found that teens in romantic sexual relationships have similar school experiences to virgins. Meanwhile, students who engage in NON-romantic sexual activity (hook-ups, friends with benefits, etc) were found to be more likely to be suspended or expelled, less likely to aspire to college, and more likely to earn lower grades.
A new study out from the CDC shows that herpes is twice as common in women than men, and three times as common in blacks than whites. A massive 48% of new herpes cases are among black women. We called on Dr. Vanessa Cullins, an obstetrician/gynecologist and vice president for medical affairs at Planned Parenthood, to get the story behind these depressing statistics.
Em & Lo: Can you briefly explain the difference between HSV-1 and HSV-2, and how they are related to oral vs genital herpes?
Dr. Cullins: Herpes is a very common infection caused by two different but closely related viruses — herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Both are easy to catch. They remain in the body for life, and can produce symptoms that come and go. Both forms of herpes can infect the oral area, the genital area, or both. When the infection is on or near the mouth, it is called oral herpes. Oral herpes is caused most often by HSV-1. When herpes infection is on or near the sex organs, it is called genital herpes. Genital herpes is caused most often by HSV-2.
The study shows that women are nearly twice as likely as men to be infected — why is this?
Herpes infections prefer moist environments and a womanâ€™s sexual organs tend to be more continuously moist than a manâ€™s.
The study also shows that the infection rate is three times higher amongst blacks, with 48% of new herpes cases being in African American women. Why the disparity?
Women of color are disproportionately affected by the current health care system that exists in this country. Women who face multiple barriers to accessing affordable health care, including being uninsured or under-insured, experience higher rates of sexually transmitted infections and other medical conditions.
Good design used to be completely unheard of in the world of sex accessories — neither function nor form was particularly paid attention to, whether it was a vibrator or a pair of latex undies. Fortunately, in the last decade or so, both form and function have improved immeasurably, and we could not be happier. Now vibrators and dildos are as likely to resemble abstract art for your coffee table as they are to resemble a penis.Â The newest contender in this field? New York City’s health department, if you can believe that! The city distributes 40 million free condoms every year, and they decided that the condom packaging could use an overhaul. Now, design by committee tends to be a horrible idea, and design by government agency tends to be even worse. But some smarty-pants in the health department decided to hold an online competition for a special limited edition condom wrapper, and 15,000 people voted on the entries.
The good news is there are a lot of birth control options available to women. The bad news is you have to figure out which one is right for you — how to choose?! Planned Parenthood has a pretty cool, new widget that can help take a little bit of the guesswork out of it. Called “My Method,” it’s a quick survey you take which immediately analyzes your answers and recommends the types of birth control that might be best for you, your relationship(s) and situation. Are you an IUD gal or possibly a Pill popper? It’s designed for women, so fellas should answer from their female partner’s perspective. They’ve got a big qualifier at the beginning explaining that this is not official medical advice and you should consult your doctor blah blah blah, but it’s certainly more helpful than the last Cosmo quiz you took about which kind of animal you are in the sack.