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Sex in an MRI

November 23, 2010 Culture, News, Research, web No Comments

Sex in an MRI

The Carnal Carnival is a site run by a group of wild science writers who want to bring knowledge to us unwashed masses. This month, they’re surveying studies on orgasm. Ready to take a look at male and female genitals during coitus, as delivered by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)? … Continue Reading

Premature Ejaculation — Something Evolution Selects For?

November 16, 2010 News, Research No Comments

does evolution select from premature ejaculation?

No matter what we do, it always seems to come back to semen.

We’re blaming this one on Jesse Bering over at Scientific American, who recently decided to examine the evolutionary merits of premature ejaculation.

Ejaculation, biologically speaking, has one function: to shoot semen into the female body, in the hopes that one of the sperm survives the hostile reception long enough to penetrate an egg. “Given these basic biological facts, and assuming that ejaculation is not so premature that it occurs prior to intromission and sperm cells find themselves awkwardly outside of a woman’s reproductive tract flopping about like fish out of water,” Bering reflects, “what, exactly, is so “premature” about premature ejaculation?” … Continue Reading

Teen Romance and Sex Ruled by Scarcity

November 15, 2010 News, Research No Comments

Remember highschool?

Remember high school? Yeah, Neither do we. But researchers recently released a reminder entitled “Terms of Endearment” — a paper studying the Darwinian mating habits of the high school student.

Based on data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (or, “Add Health”) — a huge compilation of data from surveys administered between 1994 and 1995 to students between seventh and twelfth grade, and periodically thereafter — researchers Arcidiacono, McElroy, and Beauchamp zeroed in on data relating to sex and relationships. Specifically, they wanted to know the likelihood and factors surrounding the partnering up of students.

They found that freshman girls and senior guys have the highest chances of partnering up, whereas the pickier senior girls and lowly freshman boys had the least. They also confirmed that teen boys are sex-crazed and teen girls place a higher emphasis on the relationship aspect of romance. … Continue Reading

Sex in Dire Straights in Country of Romance

November 15, 2010 News, Research 1 Comment

The Institute for Public Opinion, one of France’s most reputable market research firms, inadvertently busted a myth recently when it found that more than three-quarters of French couples lead impoverished sex lives.

Common excuses from both genders to skip sex? Headaches, exhaustion, and the children.

The BBC loved the report — most likely still sore from the Global Sexual Satisfaction Survey that showed the Brits aren’t doing too well in that department, either. … Continue Reading

Falling in Love Takes Less Than A Second… ish

November 6, 2010 News, Research 1 Comment

The BBC says it takes about half a second. US News says it takes a fifth of a second.

They’re talking about the same study, which makes us weary considering scientifically, there is a significant difference between half a second and a fifth of a second, but we’ll let a science writer dispense the spankings on their blog and get to the meat of the study.

Essentially, according to Syracuse University professor Stephanie Ortigue, who led this study, falling in love is quite like using cocaine. (Uh, no. Though it certainly explains the rambling…) … Continue Reading

Women’s Relationship Satisfaction is “Contextual”

October 26, 2010 News, Research No Comments

“We’ve assumed for so long that for both men and women, [sexual] problems were always depressing,” says Kyle Stephenson, a University of Texas at Austin doctoral candidate in psychology. Stephenson recently published a paper on the topic of sexual dissatisfaction, and believes that their survey data proves that sexual dissatisfaction may not necessarily engender great distress. For women, stress seems to come from a variety of factors.

Leonard Derogatis, director of the Center for Sexual Medicine at Sheppard Pratt Health System, believes the reason dysfunction and distress don’t match in women with problems is that the average woman’s sexual desire is “more contextual” than that of a man’s, meaning: it depends on a lot of other aspects of her relationship. … Continue Reading

King Penguins Are Not Gay!

October 23, 2010 News, Research No Comments

King penguins — especially male king penguins — are known to pair up. A new study seeking to understand the behavior that led to over a quarter of a penguin colony in Antarctica to partner up with members of the same sex, has uncovered that the cause is not so much that they can’t tell the sexes apart or that they have a tendency toward homosexuality but that they’re lonely.

Simply: there are not enough females in the colony and with the amount of testosterone male penguins have, it’s better to get on a dude than go at ‘em alone. … Continue Reading

Because We Always Need An Excuse

October 22, 2010 Health, News, Research No Comments

Excuses, excuses

Remember when Dan Rather interviewed Bill Clinton in 2004 about his life and presidency for 60 Minutes? It almost perfectly summarizes everything that’s wrong with us as a species.

“The central question, if I may, and I know this is difficult,” probed Rather, breaching the issue of Monica Lewinsky. “The central question is: why?”

“I think I did something for the worst possible reason,” responded Clinton. “Just because I could. I think that’s the most — just about the most morally indefensible reason that anybody could have for doing anything.”

Having a reason doesn’t make it better. The moral question is about the action, not the reasoning. Nevertheless, the idea that we need reasons to do things continues to be cultivated in the American mind. Slowly, we move toward efficient, streamlined living, demanding that everything we do have A Reason. … Continue Reading

Austin Is America’s Sexiest City?!

September 28, 2010 News, Research 1 Comment

Here’s a shocker for you: Austin, Texas was recently named America’s “Most Sex-Happy City” by Men’s Health magazine. That’s right, Austin. Texas. A bastion of blue in a state of red. The city whose motto is “Keep Austin Weird,” and whose unofficial mascot is testicular cancer survivor Lance Armstrong. … Continue Reading

Middle Eastern Study Declares Female Ejaculation Pathological

August 30, 2010 News, Research 2 Comments

Ah, female ejaculation. The holy grail of sex. Not many have seen it, fewer have lived it, but there it is. Hanging over our heads as science continues to scramble to understand its cause, function — or whether it exists at all.

A recent study from the Middle East brought to our attention by Scientopia, concluded — after some really questionable science — that female ejaculation is pathological. … Continue Reading


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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...