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Actually, Babe, I’m Staring At Your Tits Because It’s Healthy

December 24, 2009 News, Research 3 Comments

So get this–a team of German researchers has discovered that staring at boobs is not just fun for men, it’s actually healthy and increases their life expectancy.

Dr. Karen Weatherby, a gerontologist and the author of this study, said the practice provided almost the same benefits of an intense exercise regime, which prolongs the lifespan of a man by five years.

“Just 10 minutes of staring at the charms of a well-endowed female is roughly equivalent to a 30-minute aerobics work-out,” Weatherby said.

How did they conclude this?

Researchers at three hospitals in Frankfurt, Germany, analyzed some 200 healthy men over the course of five years, of these, half were instructed to check out the breasts of women daily, while the other half were told to refrain from doing so.

At the close of the study, researchers noted that the men who looked at breasts on the daily had lower blood pressure, slower resting pulse rates and lesser episodes of coronary artery disease. Desire, it appears, leads to better blood circulation, which, in turn, improves health.

“Our study indicates that engaging in this activity a few minutes daily cuts the risk of stroke and heart attack in half,” Weatherby explained. “We believe that by doing so consistently, the average man can extend his life four to five years.”

Hear that, boys? Put down that Xbox controller and go regenerate your real life health bar, like, now.

(I strongly suggest you do not attempt this on a woman with whom you’re not intimate, lest you’re dealt some incredible damage points courtesy of her Coach purse.)

Image by AV Flox. Information from MedGuru and AsiaOne.

Mosquito Sex Intervention Could Stop Malaria

December 23, 2009 News, Research No Comments

British scientists think that tinkering with the sex lives of mosquitoes could go a long way in helping put an end to the spread of malaria.

A study of Anopheles gambiae, the species of mosquito responsible for the transmission of the disease in Africa, revealed that these insects only mate twice in their lifetimes–what’s more, in order for a female to fertilize all her eggs during her lifetime, the sperm have to be secured in place. To do this, a male mosquito provides a gelatinous solid mass that acts as a plug to hold his sperm inside her.

Researchers from Imperial College London, who published the study in the journal PLoS Biology, are thinking that by interfering at this crucial point, they’ll be able to substantially decrease their populations and halt the spread of the potentially deadly disease that affects 40 percent of the world.

“Removing or interfering with the mating plug renders copulation ineffective,” Flaminia Catteruccia of Imperial’s life sciences department wrote in the study.

Catteruccia’s team analyzed the male mosquitoes and found the plug used during mating forms when an enzyme called transglutaminase interacts with proteins in seminal fluid. All the researchers had to do was knock out this enzyme in their test subjects and voila: no plug, no effective copulation, no baby mosquitoes.

No word on how this may affect other aspects of that ecosystem.

Image by James Gathany. Information from Reuters, via ABC News.

Sperm Need A Pick-Me-Up? Try Coffee

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.

Sexiest Studies of 2009

December 20, 2009 News, Research No Comments

This year has brought an incredible amount of information in our understanding of sexuality and the peeps over at LiveScience have compiled a nice list of the nine most provocative studies. Here are our favorite three:

  • M’M M’M, GOOD!
    A man’s sweat smells different when he’s turned on–and women can tell the difference between the smell of turned on sweat and regular sweat, according to a study in The Journal of Neuroscience. More…
  • HOLD IT, KIDS
    Men who are really sexually active in their 20s and 30s–especially those who masturbate often–are at higher risk for prostate cancer, say researchers at the University of Nottingham. Interestingly, the level of risk decreases as a man gets older: once he’s in his 50s, any sexual activity actually helps to protect him from the disease. More…
  • GUILTY!
    Women said they would feel guiltier if they fell in love with someone else, rather than just hooking up and trying different sexual positions with them; on the other hand, men said they would feel guiltier having sex without emotion rather than love without sex, reported a Canadian team of researchers. More…

To read the rest, click here.

Information from Livescience.

Sexting Among Teens: Not As Common As We Think

December 16, 2009 Culture, News, Research No Comments

Texting has become a fixture in our lives. As with everything, we quickly turned it into another conduit for our sexual expression and exploration. The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, always fascinated by such things, decided to tackle the matter in a survey relating to teen cell phone usage.

The results of their survey of 800 respondents, ranging between 12 and 17 years of age, which was released yesterday, found that:

  • Only 4% of cell-owning teens ages say they have sent sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images of themselves to someone else via text messaging.
  • Only 15% of cell-owning teens have received sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images of someone they know via text messaging on their cell phone.
  • Older teens are much more likely to send and receive these images; 8% of 17-year-olds with cell phones have sent a sexually provocative image by text and 30% have received a nude or nearly nude image on their phone.
  • The teens who pay their own phone bills are more likely to send “sexts”: 17% of teens who pay for all of the costs associated with their cell phones send sexually suggestive images via text; just 3% of teens who do not pay for, or only pay for a portion of the cost of the cell phone send these images.
  • The is no gap between males and females in sexting, only age differences.
  • Our focus groups revealed that there are three main scenarios for sexting: 1) exchange of images solely between two romantic partners; 2) exchanges between partners that are shared with others outside the relationship and 3) exchanges between people who are not yet in a relationship, but where at least one person hopes to be.

“Teens explained to us how sexually suggestive images have become a form of relationship currency,” said Amanda Lenhart, Senior Research Specialist and author of the report. “These images are shared as a part of or instead of sexual activity, or as a way of starting or maintaining a relationship with a significant other. And they are also passed along to friends for their entertainment value, as a joke or for fun.”

Read more here.

Information via @Armano.

Women Want Group Sex, Too!

December 11, 2009 News, Research No Comments

Australian women are as likely as their male couterparts to want to take part in group sex, and they tend to initiate it almost as often, a survey conducted by the country’s second biggest dating site, RedHotPie.com.au, has shown.

Almost 40 percent of respondents report an equal gender split in group sex, while a further 30 percent report a majority of women at such encounters.

Almost as many women as men instigate the idea of group sex: 46 percent compared with 54 percent, and a narrow majority of these are coupled, rather than single. According to the survey of 8,763, most of the couples participate together.

According to Stuff.co.nz, The most common reasons given for the desire to engage in group sex are excitement, variety and to spice up long-term relationships:

The most common form of group sex is a threesome, although one third of respondents say their largest group involved five or more people.

Participants are not at it all the time, with 40 percent saying they have tried it only once, and little over one in 10 doing it weekly or monthly.

But there seem to be few tears after bed time, with 80 percent reporting nothing but fun, with everyone’s rights being respected.

Reasons cited by the comparatively small number of regretful participants include judgment impaired by alcohol, jealousy between partners and being pressured into it.

Information from Stuff.co.nz.

Oxytocin: For Her

December 11, 2009 News, Research No Comments

Oxytocin is a hormone released in the brain associated primarily with bonding. In women, it plays a role in reproductive functions like birth and lactation, and orgasm. Over at Neurotopia has developed a fast and furious tutorial about this hormone’s role as it regards the female orgasm:

  • During sexual arousal, oxytocin increases rapidly, with a big burst at orgasm.
  • Oxytocin levels correlate to sexual arousal in women, as well as the amount of vaginal lubrication present.
  • Oxytocin fluctuates along with a woman’s menstrual cycle, being highest in the ovulatory phase and follicular phase, and lowest in the luteal phase (The follicular phase and ovulatory phase are the preparation and release of the egg, respectively, and fertility will peak at ovulation for obvious reasons. The luteal phase is the phase after ovulation, as the egg sits around and grows old until the shedding of the uterine lining during menstruation at the end of the month).

Information from Neurotopia.

Research Suggests Absence Does Indeed Make The Heart Grow Fonder

November 28, 2009 News, Research 1 Comment

panda

The giant panda is well known for having a low sex drive, especially in captivity–add to that a brief mating season, and atrophied leg muscles due to an obstacle free existence in a zoo, and you’ve got yourself slim to nil chances of successful mating.

But it seems researchers have found a way to get the creature into a more loving mood–by separating partners. Zhang Hemin, a doctor inspecting the two pandas at the Taipei Zoo, is credited with the exercise in longing.

Guess what? It works. Best reason ever to convince hubby you need a getaway weekend with the girlfriends.

Information from 2point6billion. Image by Jeff Kubina.

12 Reasons To Have Sex Right Now

November 27, 2009 Research 9 Comments

dome

Sex feels good, but that’s not the only reason we should be having it. Aside from giving you a killer work out, having sex regularly also has implications in other aspects of your life. Below are twelve reasons you should call it a day early and jump into the arms of your current object of desire:

  • A study at Queens University in Belfast found that having sex three times a week could halve your risk of heart attack or stroke.
  • Having sex once or twice a week has been found to raise your body’s levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A or IgA, which can protect you from viral and bacterial infections. According to one study, people who have sex more than once a week had 30% higher levels of IgA than those who abstained.
  • During sex, the natural steroid DHEA is secreted throughout the body and after an orgasm the level in the bloodstream soars to five times its normal amount. Known as the anti-ageing hormone, high levels of DHEA are thought to keep your body fitter and disease-free, helping you to live longer.
  • An Australian study found that people who had an orgasm at least three times a week had a 50% lower chance of dying from any medical reason than those who only climaxed once a month.
  • Couples who have sex at least three times a week look more than a decade younger than people who make love less often, according to consultant neuro-psychologist, Dr David Weeks, who did a 10-year study on the subject.
  • Thirty minutes of sex burns up to 150 calories per half-hour, which is equivalent to a small glass of wine. If you have moderately active sex twice a week, you’ll burn an extra 15,600 calories a year!
  • The hormone oestrogen is pumped out during sex, which can have a plumping effect on skin, helping to smooth out fine lines. After menopause, skin can become drier and more wrinkled, as oestrogen levels drop – something research shows regular sex might combat.
  • Because sex is an aerobic form of exercise it promotes skin renewal, according to research at Royal Edinburgh Hospital. It found that vigorous sex pumps higher levels of oxygen around the body, pushing newer, fresher skin cells up to the surface.
  • Like any exercise that raises your heart rate, sex causes your brain to release feel-good chemicals that boost your levels of serotonin – the happy hormone – to lift your mood. Being intimate has also been found to ease mild depression.
  • Sex causes a surge in the “love” hormone oxytocin and other feel-good endorphins, which can reduce pain. Women have reported noticing that headaches, arthritis pain, or PMS symptoms seem to improve after sex.
  • The oxytocin released during orgasm has another benefit – it promotes sleep, according to research. And getting enough sleep has been linked with a host of other good things, such as feeling happier, maintaining a healthy weight and controlling high blood pressure.
  • In a study published in Psychology Journal, researchers found that people who’d had sex in the past 24 hours coped better with stressful scenarios than those who had not.

Information via The Mirror. Image by Nicola Ranaldi, via AcessoRestrito.

Men Fall In Love Faster Than Women

November 25, 2009 News, Research No Comments

A recent study conducted for the UK’s Sunday Telegraph of 2,000 men and women has revealed that men average seven months to declare “I love you” to a partner–a full month less than women. The Telegraph reports:

Oliver James, the clinical psychologist and author, said the findings supported other studies that showed that men fall in love more frequently than women, and that they are more prone to feelings of being “swept away” by someone.

“This is because women mature sooner than men and develop to be more hard-nosed, realistic and in touch with their emotions,” he added. “So when a man says ‘I love you’ it might be his way of dealing with a lot of complex, difficult emotions that he doesn’t really understand, whereas when a woman says it, it might carry a greater weight. The classic cliché is that men use love to get sex and women use sex to get love.”

Fascinating. Assuming saying “I love you,” can be taken to mean someone is actually in love.

Information via The UK Telegraph.

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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...