Men aren’t as sexually simple as they’re made out to be.
Anyone who has anything to gain –- academics, the media, even men themselves –- love to portray the male gender as the lesser of sexual beings.
We’ve been told the male’s sexual response is linear and uncomplicated, that his reproductive purpose is straightforward and easy to figure out. His sexual needs can be met as easily as giving a dog a bone.
Well . . . I do a lot of reading about sex, and let’s just say men aren’t so simple. Here are 10 things I'll bet you didn't know:
1. Trapped Sperm?
An interesting tidbit left out of the “birds and bees” discussion is that not all sperm go racing for the egg at once. Once sperm has been deposited into the vaginal canal, some of these cells are temporarily trapped in a semen coagulate or clot. They are eventually decoagulated by enzymes, which set them free to swim about a female’s reproductive system like those that went earlier. Scientists believe this clotting is meant to pace the release of sperm into the uterus, increasing the chance that one of these buggers will reach the prize.
2. Oxytocin Affects Males Too
We typically hear about oxytocin affecting females during sex (and breast-feeding). But this cuddle hormone, which is released by both sexes during intimacy, can influence males. Research from Switzerland found that oxytocin is associated with increased feelings of trust in males. Males who participated in a study where they inhaled a nasal spray spiked with the hormone gave more money to their partners during a risky investment game than those men who sniffed a placebo.
3. High Testosterone = Less Sex
Having higher testosterone levels is typically considered a good thing for men when it comes to their sex drive. Yet research continually finds that males with higher testosterone levels marry less often, are more abusive in their marriages and divorce more regularly. Why does this hurt him? Married men see more action than single men. A University of Chicago National Sex Survey found single men are 20 times more likely to be celibate than married men.
4. Death During Sex Has a Prototype
In examining the incidence of death during sex, a 1975 study found a pattern for males: the “deceased is usually married; he is not with a spouse and in unfamiliar surroundings," and death usually occurs after "a big meal with alcohol.” A 1989 study found further evidence for the extramarital sex bit. Fourteen of the 20 cases of “la mort d’amour,” or coital death, happened during an affair. Talk about swift karma!
5. Orgasm ... or Lack of ... May Prevent Breast Cancer in Males
A 2000 Greek study found evidence that the frequency of adult orgasms may have an impact on the incidence of breast cancer in men. Findings revealed that males with breast cancer had experienced fewer orgasms on average than men who didn’t have the disease.
6. You Can Tell a Guy’s “Size” by His — Fingers?
Research out of the University of Liverpool in England indicated the size of a man’s ring fingers and genitals are directly related to how much testosterone he received in the womb. The more testosterone he received, the longer his penis.
In “Sex on the Brain,” Dr. Daniel Amen further explains how this measures up. If a man’s ring fingers are longer than his index fingers, this means there were healthy testosterone levels in the womb. If the ring fingers are the same size or smaller than the index fingers, then the male received lower levels of testosterone. Thus, by knowing this information, you can estimate the length of his member.
7. Men Fall in Love Faster Than Women
When it comes to falling in love, women are usually depicted as being out of control and head over heels, while men are calm, cool and collected. However, brain research indicates men show more activity than women in the brain regions associated with visual processing, especially the face. So given the right time and the right attractive face, these visual features are going to flood him with feelings of romantic passion, according to love researcher Dr. Helen Fisher.
8. Family Affects Testosterone
According to a 2001 study out of the Mayo Clinic, as a man becomes increasingly attached to his family, his testosterone level goes down. In particular, fathers experience a significant decline in levels of testosterone with the birth of his child, especially when he holds the baby.
9. Can a Bowel Movement Make for Bliss?
A 2002 study documented a male who had a history of orgasmic-like feelings after going to the bathroom. After doing his duty, his body went through the rest of the male sexual response cycle. His pulse rate increased as he reached climactic state, followed by relaxation, then extreme fatigue.
10. Males Like ‘Unusual’ Sex
Men outnumber women an estimated 20 to 1 when it comes to practicing an “unusual” and often socially unacceptable or illegal behavior, for example exhibitionism. The reasons for this could be biological, psychoanalytical, sociobiological, or a combination of any of those. But they're so inconclusive, it can’t be said with any certainty why there would be such a huge gender difference.
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Dr. Yvonne Kristín Fulbright is a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of Sexuality Source Inc. She is the author of several books including, "Touch Me There! A Hands-On Guide to Your Orgasmic Hot Spots."