Archive for the 'Sexuality' Category

Tea and Consent

by Jason Stotts

Consent can be a tricky subject to understand, but this video gets it precisely right.

(Except the part about putting milk in tea.)

Porn on Halloween

by Jason Stotts

What kind of porn do people look for around Halloween? According to PornHub, people’s taste in porn goes along with the season:

(Source: PornHub)

They’ve got a lot more data for those who want to find out the details, so check it out.

News and Other Interesting Things

by Jason Stotts

1. Scientists Celebrate the Weird World of Animal Genitalia

Have you ever wondered what penises look like throughout the animal kingdom? Well, it’s your lucky day. (NSFW? Article on WaPo; more on Twitter)

2. How Many Scientists Does It Take to Write a Paper? Apparently, Thousands 

In less than a decade, Dr. Aad, who lives in Marseilles, France, has appeared as the lead author on 458 scientific papers. Nobody knows just how many scientists it may take to screw in a light bulb, but it took 5,154 researchers to write one physics paper earlier this year—likely a record—and Dr. Aad led the list. (WSJ)

The culture of “publish or perish” in academia has become completely absurd. Academics are forced to spend so much time trying to publish, even on trivial minutia, that they are unable to do real research or focus on their teaching. When you combine this with the fact that students are allowed to judge their professors and this is their only evaluation, you get a terrible mix of pandering professors who care more about what people think of them than they do about the truth.

3. Take My Wife, Please: The Rise of Cuckolding Culture

For those unfamiliar with cuckolding as sexual fetish, try to recall high-school English, and more specifically, Geoffrey Chaucer’s reference to cuckolds in The Canterbury Tales. The traditional Middle English meaning of the word — a man with an adulterous wife — echoes the modern-day fetish: “One cannot be a cuckold if not wed. But I do not therefore asperse your bed; few are the wives who make their husbands sad, a thousand good for every one that’s bad.”

The glaring difference? Dozens of cuckold websites affirm that today’s cucks aren’t just standing helplessly by. They’re begging well-endowed men to have sex with their insatiable wives. (Nerve)

This article isn’t new, but it does a great job of discussing the rise of cuckolding and hotwifing. On the other hand, I actually disagree with the article’s use of “cuckold” and “hotwife.” I think of cuckolding as typically involving humiliation play and/or submission, whereas hotwifing is more of a celebration of feminine sexuality.

4. Olympian to Escort

Suzy Favor Hamilton says she was always just a nice girl from Wisconsin.

Widely celebrated for her athletic pursuits throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, the nine-time NCAA champion and former Olympic middle-distance runner appeared to be the quintessential example of all-American womanhood. Then she fell on the track during the 2000 Summer Olympics, bringing an abrupt close to her running career.

In the following decade, Hamilton struggled to build a new life without sports. She juggled running a real estate business with her college sweetheart, Mark, with making personal appearances on the former Olympian circuit. After giving birth to her daughter, Hamilton was diagnosed with postpartum depression and prescribed Zoloft, which immediately improved her mood. She felt like she was on top of the world.

Then, just before Christmas 2012, she was outed as a high-end Las Vegas escort. (LINK)

This is a really interesting article about a former olympian who turned to sex work. Her story about bipolar and mania might be completely true, but it also feels a little bit like an excuse for enjoying sex work and needing to explain it away. Either way, it’s an interesting story.

5. The Victims of Cameroon’s Horrific Breast Ironing Tradition

“Breast ironing” is the Cameroonian custom of massaging young girls chests with hot tools—spatulas and pestles being the most common—in an attempt to flatten their developing breasts. This is done with the intention of postponing their first sexual relationships by making their bodies less attractive to men. Parents often fear that the girls won’t finish their education if they meet a man and become pregnant.

For the most part, the flattening is carried out by female family members, either at home or with the assistance of a healer. The process begins as soon as the girls hit puberty—for some, that means as early as eight years old. The consequences of this can be disastrous for the victims’ health—cysts, breast cancer, and breastfeeding issues are all common, not to mention the abundance of psychological consequences linked to the practice. According to a 2011 GIZ report, one out of every ten Cameroonian girls has been subjected to breast ironing. (NSFW – LINK)

There are so many more kinds of genital mutilation than penile (“circumcision”) or vulval. In fact, if you look hard enough, you can find mutilation of basically every body part for sexual reasons.

This is the interesting story of breast mutilation and the culture that condones and engages in it.

6. In This Remote Village, Some Boys Don’t Grow a Penis Until They’re 12

Puberty can be an awkward time for anybody, but spare a thought for the Guevedoce children of the Dominican Republic, who literally appear to change their sex when they hit adolescence.

As covered by Michael Mosely in the new BBC series, Countdown to Life: The Extraordinary Making of You, the remarkable case of the Guevedoces is a condition that affects just over 1 percent of the boys born in Salinas, a remote village lying in the southwest of the Dominican Republic.

Guevedoces (literal translation “penis at 12”) – who are also called “machihembras”, meaning “first a woman, then a man” – appear to be completely female at birth and are brought up to be little girls.

“When they’re born, they look like girls with no testes and what appears to be a vagina,” writes Mosely for The Telegraph. “It is only when they near puberty that the penis grows and testicles descend.” (LINK)

This is the first I’ve heard about this and I find it incredibly interesting. I’m really not sure what implications to draw from this, but I do think that it shows the incredible power of puberty over the body and this may have implications for the debate around transsexualism, although I’m not sure if I understand how yet. If you’re interested more in the condition that causes this, check out this wikipedia page on it: 5-alpha-reductase deficiency.

6. Intelligent Machines: Call for a Ban on Robots Designed as Sex Toys

A campaign has been launched calling for a ban on the development of robots that can be used for sex.

Such a use of the technology is unnecessary and undesirable, said campaign leader Dr Kathleen Richardson.

Sex dolls already on the market are becoming more sophisticated and some are now hoping to build artificial intelligence into their products.

Those working in the field say that there is a need for such robots. (LINK)

This whole article seems ridiculous. A robot that is not self-aware is no different from a dildo in moral status. If robots ever have consciousness and self-awareness, then we need to have a different conversation about what kinds of rights robots would have (if any).

News

by Jason Stotts

1. Circumcision May Cause Erectile Dysfunction

In case you needed one more reason to not mutilate your child.

Our new study published in the International Journal of Men’s Health showed that circumcised men have a 4.5 times greater chance of suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED) than intact men, revealing what appears to be a significant acquisition factor. Robert S. Van Howe, M.D., M.S., FAAP and I found a surprisingly strong secondary finding between circumcision and ED in our survey of 300 participants (OR = 4.53, p=.0058). It was outside the scope of our article to delve deeper into this topic, but our finding does raise some questions: Are there other studies showing a similar connection? What could be the underlying cause?

Bollinger, D., & Van Howe, R. S. (2011). Alexithymia and circumcision trauma: A preliminary investigation. International Journal Of Men’s Health, 10(2), 184-195. doi:10.3149/jmh.1002.184

2. “Sex Offender” has Become an Absurdly Large Category

The number of things that people are calling “sex crimes” now has become absolutely absurd. The term “sex offender” should be reserved only for violent rape and pedophilia.

DAYTON — A Kettering woman convicted of promoting prostitution and labeled a sex offender after she drove a friend to what turned out to be a prostitution sting was granted judicial release after serving about seven months of an 18-month sentence. 

But Aimee Hart, 42, is continuing with an appeal of her fourth-degree felony conviction because she doesn’t believe she should have to register as a sex offender, which she did after she was released last month. Hart was found guilty during a December 2014 trial.

Boy Scouts of America Now Allowing Gay Volunteers

by Jason Stotts

Apparently the Boy Scouts of America is now allowing gay men to volunteer to be leaders.

The Boy Scouts of America on Monday announced an executive committee has unanimously approved a resolution that would allow openly gay adults to hold leadership positions within the organization.

The Boy Scouts of America Executive Committee on July 10 adopted a resolution that would allow openly gay adults to hold paid and volunteer positions. These include scoutmasters and unit leaders.

“No adult applicant for registration as an employee or non-unit-serving volunteer, who otherwise meets the requirements of the Boy Scouts of America, may be denied registration on the basis of sexual orientation,” reads the resolution. (Link)

This is definitely a big move forward for them.

I think I know someone else who is excited about this:

Big Gay Al

PSA: How to Measure Your Penis

by Jason Stotts

I sometimes see pictures of men measuring their penises in all sorts of wrong ways. While you can measure it however you want, it’s not helpful to anyone. It’s like measuring your height while standing on your toes: it’s just not the right way to measure this.

So, how do you measure your penis? You use the “bone-press method” or BPM. In order to do this, you take a rigid ruler and place it along the top of the penis. You then, as its name suggests, press the ruler into the pubic bone until it stops. Once you have this in place, you measure to the tip of penis. If you have a penis that has a severe curve, you can instead use a piece of string, push it into the bone, lay it along the top of the penis in the center, and then measure the length of the string.

So, why do we use the BPM? Because it’s easily repeatable, it’s objective (if you measure from the bottom, where would you start?), and it gives the maximum insertable length.

Of course, the overall length isn’t necessarily the most important measure of a penis; for example, some studies have shown that women tend to prefer girth to length. I think that any report of penis size should include length and girth, so something like 5.5″ long and 5″ around. Of course, if you do include girth, where do you measure it? Many penises are not of a uniform thickness, so it matters where you measure them. I think that girth should be calculated by the average of three measurements: at the base, at the middle, and immediately below the coronal ridge of the glans. This would give a reportable number like 5.5″ x 5″.

There are more complex ways to measure penises, like the Adjusted Penis Size Measurement or “T.M.I.“, but these may be unnecessarily complicated. The T.M.I, for example, calls for penis size to be calculated via the formula ((L*D)+(W/G))/(A^2) or Length times Diameter plus Weight over Girth divided by Angle of the tip squared.

Ultimately, you might be surprised to find that your penis is basically the same as everyone else’s, because the average human penis size is 5.165″ (SD=0.653″) meaning that 68.3% of men have a penis between 4.512” to 5.818”.

Want to look it up yourself? Here’s the study:

Veale, D., Miles, S., Bramley, S., Muir, G. and Hodsoll, J. (2015), Am I normal? A systematic review and construction of nomograms for flaccid and erect penis length and circumference in up to 15 521 men. BJU International, 115: 978–986. doi: 10.1111/bju.13010

Women and Sexuality

by Jason Stotts

In our culture today, we are inundated by the idea that men are nearly incontrollable sex-monsters who will stop at nothing to satisfy their needs, while women do not enjoy sex and have it merely to achieve some end. Yet, this is a relatively new development as until recently, women were considered to be more sexual. See, for a fuller account of this, Alyssa Goldstein’s excellent essay “When Women Wanted Sex Much More Than Men: And how the stereotype flipped.

This is made all the more interesting because research suggests that this isn’t the result of changed biology, but of changed cultural expectations about the role of each sex: “When Society isn’t Judging, Women’s Sex Drive Rivals Men’s.

I bring this up not only because it’s incredibly interesting, but I also want to challenge you to think about your beliefs about sexuality and how they shape your own behavior and your behavior towards others.

Children and Sexuality

by Jason Stotts

We’ve talked about children and sexuality several times on the podcast (episodes #23, #24, & #25). What we haven’t talked much about is better options for educating children about sexuality. Luckily, PBS (of all places) just recently published a really good article called “The Case for Starting Sex Education in Kindergarten.” In it, they show some very good alternatives to our nonsensical ignorance-only education (“abstinence education”). I recommend taking a minute and reading the article, it’s worth it.

You’ll never hear an explicit reference to sex in a kindergarten class.In fact, the term for what’s being taught here is sexuality education rather than sex education. That’s because the goal is bigger than that, says Ineke van der Vlugt, an expert on youth sexual development for Rutgers WPF, the Dutch sexuality research institute behind the curriculum. It’s about having open, honest conversations about love and relationships.

By law, all primary school students in the Netherlands must receive some form of sexuality education. The system allows for flexibility in how it’s taught. But it must address certain core principles — among them, sexual diversity and sexual assertiveness. That means encouraging respect for all sexual preferences and helping students develop skills to protect against sexual coercion, intimidation and abuse. The underlying principle is straightforward: Sexual development is a normal process that all young people experience, and they have the right to frank, trustworthy information on the subject.

“There were societal concerns that sexualization in the media could be having a negative impact on kids,” van der Vlugt said. “We wanted to show that sexuality also has to do with respect, intimacy, and safety.” (LINK)