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Housework Is A Turn On

October 25, 2009 News, Research No Comments

washerBack in high school, my friends and I had a special code phrase for getting it on: doing laundry. It possibly originated in the belief that having sex on a washing machine while it was in the spin cycle led to a more intense orgasm, but I can’t be sure.

The funny thing is, a new study has revealed the more housework a person does, the more often he or she is likely to have sex with their partner.

The study, published in the Journal of Family Issues and based on a random, nationally representative sample of 6,877 married couples, suggests that investing time in the shared interest of the home is a total aphrodisiac. A summary of the results in the Wall Street Journal added:

The link held true even after researchers controlled the results for spouses’ attitudes about traditional sex roles–that is, whether the respondents believed doing housework and maintaining marital intimacy is part of a wife’s proper role. The results also were controlled for age, health, duration of couples’ relationship, religion, income, education and marital satisfaction.

More time in the paid workforce is also linked to higher sexual frequency in marriage, according to the study. The researchers say the results are evidence that some people – not all – are high achievers who approach life with a “work hard, play hard” mentality, drawing energy from activity in one realm, such as job or home, to invest in other areas, such as marriage.

Well, what are you waiting for? Time to do some laundry!

Image by Radek Szuban. Information via The Wall Street Journal.

Foreplay or Death

October 24, 2009 News, Research No Comments

The female Australian redback spider is known for eating its suitors as a post-coital snack. What we didn’t know until recently is why the spider behaved in this way.

redbackApparently, it has to do with foreplay. According to research by Jeffrey Stoltz and Maydianne Andrade at the University of Toronto, a male redback has to vibrate the female’s web for 100 minutes before attempting to mate or the female will cannibalize the over-eager loser.

Boys, you should feel grateful today.

Thumbnail image by William. Information via Animal Planet.

David Letterman Sex Tape

October 23, 2009 Hollywoody, News, Sex Tape No Comments

The National Enquirer is reporting (you still don’t understand, do you? In Los Angeles, The National Enquirer has as much–if not more–weight than the Los Angeles Times) that there is a David Letterman sex tape.

sextapeYup, the guy didn’t know where the cameras were in his own studio. Rookie move, d00d. Now there’s a tape floating about of his indiscretions with a much younger staffer. Not sure whether Vivid will take interest in this one, but it is sure to play a role in the case against his blackmailer in some form or another.

“If the tape makes its way into the criminal case, it’ll explode his marriage to smithereens,” a close source told the Enquirer. And it could be the last straw with CBS executives to boot.

Messy, messy.

Image by Jonathan Davis (modified).

Red Makes Women More Desirable to Men

October 22, 2009 News, Research No Comments

A study by researchers Andrew Elliot and Daniela Niesta in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that the color red increases desire in men for women astronomically–completely unrelated to a female’s appearance.

How? Participants in the study were asked to rate black-and-white pictures of women–some of these were shown on a red background and others in other colors.

The graph below, from Psychology Today’s Daniel R. Hawes, illustrates the significant difference between how much more attractive men found women whose images were presented on a red background than they did images of women presented on green.


“A plausible hypothesis for the effect is that there is an overlap of the evolutionary meaning of red for the male mind as well as the learned cultural association,” writes Hawes. Meaning it’s probably a mixture of biology and the connotation red has taken on culturally.

Thumbnail image by The Heart Truth.

Red Light, Green Vision

October 21, 2009 News No Comments

The House of Desire is a legal brothel in Germany. Ever conscious about the plight of the planet, they are offering discounts to all patrons who skip on driving when visiting their locale.

Customers need only show the receptionist a bike lock key or proof of use of public transit and voila, that 45 minute shag goes from 70 euros to 65.

The Save The Earth brigade just got a whole lot sexier. No word yet on how clients can prove they walked over.

Thumbnail image by Jean-Pierre Jeannin. Information via CBS News.

We Can Smell Your Desperation!

October 20, 2009 News, Research No Comments

Back in the day, when we still lived in caves, we were pretty good at getting an idea of what an approaching human was all about just by looking at them. The process of inferring things about others from a small number of cues is still with us today.

Psychology Today‘s Andrew Galperin wrote this week about a 2007 study on these thin slices of behavior as they relate to speed dating.

The study by Paul Eastwick and his colleagues first appeared in Psychological Science and answered the question of whether we can tell when someone we meet is desperate. Prepare to have your fears confirmed: yes, people can tell when you’re desperate.

The experiment went like this: people came in for a speed-dating session and talked to each of their dates for four minutes. After the event, they rated each partner in terms of romantic/sexual attraction, interpersonal chemistry, and desire for another date. Participants were also asked to estimate how selective they felt each partner was.

Results showed that people can apparently smell desperation from miles away.

People who are not selective (i.e., have low standards, are desperate) could not hide this from the others, which makes them undesirable to others.

Interestingly, the researchers also found that if a participant showed a unique desire toward another, the desired person was more likely to reciprocate that desire. Sadly, the team did not cover the response to those who expressed no desire (because God knows I’m a sucker for men who seem like they could care less).

“So what have we learned?” asks Galperin. “As usual, the lesson is that liking people is bad. You hear that, boys and girls? At speed dating events, don’t go around smiling at everyone–just be nice to a few people and treat everyone else like crap. That will get you a bunch of follow-up dates in no time, where you will be able to assess a thicker slice of behavior.”

Juicy. And tell me how that works out for you.

Thumbnail image by AV Flox.

Women Love Vampires Because We Want To Bang Gay Dudes

October 19, 2009 Hollywoody, Opinion No Comments

Last week, Stephen Marche, author of Esquire‘s A Thousand Words About Our Culture column, regaled us with his latest epiphany: “Vampires have overwhelmed pop culture because young straight women want to have sex with gay men.”

I’ll be the first to say Marche makes a few good points in his column as it regards vampires and sexual desire. Yes, there is a correlation between desire and the vampire phenomenon, but it has little to do with sexual liberation and even less with a secret desire harbored by heterosexual women to hook up with gay men, as Marche claims. It has to do with pretty old-fashioned stuff, actually. And a little BDSM–but not in the way you imagine.

Read my response on BlogHer.

Thumbnail image by Jay Dee Harrison.

GOP–Grand Old Sex Party?

October 18, 2009 News No Comments

Meet Stepfanie Velez-Gentry, a Republican mother of two running for New Jersey State Assembly. She’s wholesome as they get. And she makes her living throwing sex toy parties.

Her company is called Nookie Parties. These are much like Tupperware parties, only with sex toys, lotions, games, lingerie and other sexy accouterments.

nookiepartiesHer motto? “For parties you will always remember and nights you will never forget.”

“We enhance people’s romances and make people happy. It’s wonderful,” she says. “It makes the moms and dads happy, and then everyone is happy.”

Since she set up her company in 2007, Velez-Gentry has created a network of some 200 people nationwide that set up the parties. Not only is she making a killing, but she’s essentially kicking ass in terms of getting in with the voters.

Watch out Dems, this pleasure-positive Republican is sure to give you a run for your money.

And other Republicans? Camden County Republican Chairman Rick DeMichele respects Velez-Gentry’s entrepreneurial spirit and doesn’t apologize for her choice of venture, saying, “She makes a great candidate.”

Hey, I have no idea what her views are, but based on this, I’d vote for her.

Image from Nookie Parties. Information from Fox News–who else?

Desire’s In The Air

October 17, 2009 News, Research No Comments

Anyone with an e-mail account has heard about pheromones, those magical chemicals that trigger behaviors in organisms.

Today, hundreds of companies are trying to capitalize on the idea of human pheromones to attract the opposite sex, never mind that no study has ever really identified them. What we do know is that scent matters. Scent, after all, can trigger memory like nothing else. And, of course, it plays a deciding role in attraction.

In the late 1990s, Dr. Alan R. Hirsch, director of Chicago’s Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, conducted a study that found a lot of food smells were incredibly arousing for men. Among these: the combination of pumpkin pie and lavender; cinnamon buns, doughnuts and licorice; pumpkin pie and doughnuts; orange; and lavender and doughnuts; buttered popcorn and cheese pizza.

(Wow, so the stench of most of my ex-boyfriends’ rooms in my early 20s wasn’t only not disgusting, it was actually arousing to them. Scary.)

True to our capitalistic spirit, someone has made a scent to cash in on the supposed aphrodisiac qualities of one of these combinations. Eau Flirt is a blend of black currant, plum, raspberry, apple, and black licorice and lavender, jasmine, ylang, nutmeg and cinnamon (the classic aromas of pumpkin pie), musk and woods.

At $98 a bottle, this baby costs more than most designer scents. Is it worth it? Only one way to find out, right?

I’ll tell you one thing–I’m glad it doesn’t involve notes of buttered popcorn and pizza.

Thumbnail image by Zsuzsanna.

Music Highs–Useless But Good

October 16, 2009 News, Research No Comments

Biologically speaking, music has no value. And yet. And yet listening to it is still one of the most rewarding activities in which we can engage. Why

A study by Valorie N. Salimpoor, Mitchel Benovoy, Gregory Longo, et al, used methods of high temporal sensitivity to see if there’s a relationship between increases in pleasure states and emotional arousal (which include things like changes in heart rate, breathing, electrodermal activity, body temperature, and pulse).

The experiment went like this: 26 people listened to self-selected intensely pleasurable music and neutral music. Results showed a strong correlation between ratings of pleasure and emotional arousal. By the same token, those who did not experience pleasure also showed no significant increases in emotional arousal.

These results suggest what emo kids have known all along: that strong emotions might be rewarding in and of themselves.

Thumbnail photo by Rossina Bossio Bossa. Information via PLoS ONE.


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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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Sex and the 405 is what your newspaper would look like if it had a sex section.

Here you’ll find news about the latest research being conducted to figure out what drives desire, passion, and other sex habits; reviews of sex toys, porn and other sexy things; coverage of the latest sex-related news that have our mainstream media's panties up in a bunch; human interest pieces about sex and desire; interviews with people who love sex, or hate sex, or work in sex, or work to enable you to have better sex; opinion pieces that relate to sex and society; and the sex-related side of celebrity gossip. More...