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Sperm Need A Pick-Me-Up? Try Coffee


Caffeine does more than wake you up–it wakes up your sperm.

That’s right. A group of Brazilian scientists has found that men who drink coffee have sperm that moves better than the sperm of those who turn down the cuppa joe.

Lead researcher, Fabio Pasqualotto, said: “Sperm motility was higher in patients who drink coffee compared to patients who do not drink coffee.”

The researchers also found that smoking cigarettes had neither a beneficial nor an adverse effect on sperm motility compared with the caffeine effect. Smoking pot, on the other hand, does seem to impair sperm.

Scientists from New York University who examined the sperm of 22 men who admitted smoking pot at least four times a week for the past five years found that these produced less sperm in and that their sperm was less capable of the hyperactivity needed to fertilize the egg.

Sweet! Smokers = 1, Stoners = 0! Not that we at Sex and the 405 suggest you should do that to your lungs or anything.

Got a light?

Image by Omar MK. Information from Medical News Today.

Reckless Sperm Donor Turns Advocate


Kirk Maxey, a 51-year-old Michigan man, estimates that he has sired some 400 children. Considered one of the most prolific donors in the country, Maxey donated sperm twice a week at a Michigan clinic between 1980 and 1994.

He got into it at the incentive of his first wife, a nurse working with infertile couples. Because his sperm had a high success rate, Maxey soon became the “go-to stud” for the clinic where his wife worked.

Back then, Maxey didn’t think about it beyond knowing he was helping people and making around twenty dollars a pop. In retrospect, he feels a lot differently.

Maxey, you see, wasn’t asked to take any genetic tests by the clinic where he donated sperm, or received any psychological screening. What if Maxey’s genes carried a life-threatening disease? Not just that–the clinic didn’t keep extensive records of people using his sperm. Imagine the implications if half-siblings unknowingly married?

For these reasons, Maxey has become a fierce advocate for tighter government regulation of the sperm-donor business. He’s been a member of the Donor Sibling Registry since 2005 and also made his genome public via Harvard’s Personal Genome Project, hoping that the information will make it easy for his offspring to get information about his genetic health status.

According to Newsweek, where the story of Maxey originally ran:

Currently, there are only recommended guidelines put in place by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine that say a donor should be required to provide a complete medical history to rule out “genetic abnormalities” or a family history of inherited disease and should receive proper counseling.

The FDA has guidelines saying that a clinic cannot use a donor with a “relevant communicable disease agent or disease,” but does not require genetic testing. Most banks do not do genetic testing either. Despite these loose attempts at guidelines, sperm banking continues to raise a host of ethical, medical, and financial questions. There’s no social template for donors who are found by their offspring, or even rules about how many children should come from a single donor.

Clinics are now struggling to answer some of these questions. In October, The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that a 23-year-old donor used by a San Francisco sperm bank passed on a potentially deadly genetic heart condition to nine of his 24 offspring, including one who died of heart failure at the age of 2. The sperm bank now gives electrocardiograms to screen for genetic heart diseases among potential donors.

“Statutory rules for genetics tests on donors should be part of FDA guidelines, which should also require that sperm banks follow up on the children to make sure they are healthy,” Maxey told Newsweek. “All I’m really advocating for is the absolute informed consent for the mothers.”

Image by Zen Sutherland. Information via Newsweek.

Cell Phones Might Break Your Sperm!


Not only are Bluetooth headsets the ultimate sign of douchebaggery, keeping your phone in talk mode in your pocket while you use your hands’ free device may screw up your sperm, too.

Awesome, now you’re doubly less of a man.

“We found increased oxidative stress and a decrease in sperm motility,” said Dr. Ashok Agarwal, the director of Reproductive Research at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

What that means, basically, is that there’s an overall decrease in quality. How does this happen? A phone in use emits high-power radiofrequency electromagnetic waves, which negatively impact semen production. (Not good enough for you? Go read all the specifics right here).

“At this time I would say excessive use should be avoided,” Agarwal said.

But it’s not like you’re one of those douchebags who wear Bluetooth sets 24/7, are you? Yeah, we didn’t think so.

Information from Renal and Urology News. Image of Brad Pitt from Wired.

More Baby Daddy Sperm For Mom Means Healthier Spawn

A study from New Zealand has uncovered a correlation between a woman’s prolonged exposure to the semen of her baby’s father serves to protect her against pregnancy-induced hypertension and having an undersized baby.

In this study by Kho and colleagues at the University of Auckland, which was published in the Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 2,507 first-time pregnant women were interviewed about the length of their relationship with their babies’ biological fathers.

When the pregnancies came to term, pregnancy-induced hypertension was found to be less common in women who had long-term sexual relations exclusively with the biological father, than in those who had been with their partner only for less than six months.

The study also revealed that women who had undersized babies were also more likely to have been in shorter relationships with the father, but only when 20-week ultrasounds demonstrated reduced blood flow to the fetus.

Dr. Larry Chamley, a reviewer of the study, explained that in normal pregnancies, “prolonged exposure of the female immune system to paternal antigens following intercourse (without barrier contraception) [could induce] tolerance of the maternal immune system to the paternal antigens. But the exaggerated maternal inflammatory response in pre-eclampsia [pregnancy-induced hypertension] is due to a failure of the maternal immune system to down-regulate or tolerate its response to paternal antigens.”

Meaning that if you’re pregnant, more exposure to the father’s makeup enables your body to better tolerate the foreign substance that helped form that baby inside you. You know what that means, right? Enjoy the cum play.

Information via Lemondrop.

The Infertility Diaries

The National Infertility Association and EMD Serono, a pharmaceutical company, joined to sponsor In The Know, a short-film competition about couples dealing with infertility.

The winning films are touching–there are Kristin and Wally Acuna, of Clifton, N.J., who dealt with infertility after the birth of their first son, then were able to conceive triplets in vitro fertilization (IVF). There are Jennifer Colletti and Michael Nielsen, of Minneapolis, each with their own infertility issues, who had a son with IVF, but failed to conceive the second child they wanted. And then there are Bridget and Dwayne Friday, who spent a year on the U.S. military waiting list for IVF, only to learn that Dwayne, was being deployed to Iraq on the treatment date. Dwayne left his frozen sperm, and his wife kept the appointment without him, and faced her pregnancy and the loss of one of her twins alone until his return.

Information via Motherlode, on the New York Times Magazine.


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Gamers Won’t Be Seduced, Will Stare At Random Cleav Instead

That Steam allows the objectification and sexualization of female characters in a variety of its games but refuses to accept a game about actually engaging with women in a more interactive fashion is astonishingly backward.

FetLife Is Not Safe for Users

That the site doesn’t take measures to protect user content and has shown incompetence or negligence in regard to user privacy, all the while prohibiting victims from warning others about predatory behavior creates an environment where it is nearly impossible for members of the community to take care of themselves and one another. By enabling FetLife to continue espousing a code of silence, allowing the spinning self-created security issues as “attacks,” and not pointing out how disingenuous FetLife statements about safety are, we are allowing our community to become a breeding ground for exploitation.

Why You Should Vote No On Prop 35

Should people who benefit (parents, siblings, children, roommates!) from the earnings of “commercial sex acts” (any sexual conduct connected to the giving or receiving of something of value) be charged with human trafficking? Should someone who creates obscene material that is deemed “deviant” be charged as with human trafficking? Should someone who profits from obscene materials be charged with human trafficking? Should people transporting obscene materials be charged with human trafficking? Should a person who engages in sex with someone claiming to be above the age of consent or furnishing a fake ID to this effect be charged with human trafficking? What if I told you the sentences for that kind of conviction were eight, 14 or 20 years in prison, a fine not to exceed $500,000, and life as a registered sex offender?

Pretty and Calls Herself a Geek? Attention Whore!

If you are a woman, you might be given a chance to prove yourself in this community. Since there is no standard definition of what a “geek” is and it will vary from one judge to the next anyway, chances of failing are high (cake and grief counseling will be available after the conclusion of the test!). If you somehow manage to succeed, you’ll be tested again and again by anyone who encounters you until you manage to establish yourself like, say, Felicia Day. But even then, you’ll be questioned. As a woman, your whole existence within the geek community will be nothing but a series of tests — if you’re lucky. If you aren’t lucky, you’ll be harassed and threatened and those within the culture will tacitly agree that you deserve it.

Cuddle Chemical? Moral Molecule? Not So Fast

Zak’s original field, it turns out, is economics, a far cry from the hearts and teddy bears we imagine when we consider his nickname. But after performing experiments on generosity, Zak stumbled on the importance of trust in interactions, which led him, rather inevitably, to research about oxytocin. Oxytocin, you might remember, is a hormone that has been linked previously to bonding — between mothers and children primarily, but also between partners. What Zak has done is take the research a step further, arguing in his recent book, The Moral Molecule, that oxytocin plays a role in determining whether we are good or evil.

How to Avoid Pissing off a Stripper

Let’s talk about the strippers. Whether they like to be half-naked or not, whether they enjoy turning you on or not, there’s one thing they all have in common: they’re working. Whether you think that taking one’s clothes off for money is a great choice of career is really beside the point (is it a possibility for you to make $500 per hour at your job without a law degree? Just asking). These women are providing fantasy, yes, but that is their job. And as a patron of the establishment where they work, you need to treat them like you would anyone else who provides a service to you.


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