Good sex research, let alone funding for such research, is hard to come by. Between differing political ideologies, the withdrawal of federal agency-support for sexuality research, difficulty attaining human subject committees’ approval’ the threat of lawsuits, and the view of sexuality issues as taboo, little sex research is being conducted during these times when it comes to your sex life.
Yet every year, a handful of research reports are released, which always invite the questions: Did research really need to confirm that? And who’s funding this kind of crap anyway?
The following are among the most notable of the Ridiculously Obvious Sex Findings of 2007:
— People like to have sex for all sorts of reasons. So should it be any surprise that, when asked to give 237 possible reasons for putting out, the most common responses from college students included: wanting to experience physical pleasure; being attracted to their lover; or just simply sex feels good?
Perhaps the tragic bit about these findings is that researchers at the University of Texas spent five years and their own money confirming these ridiculously obvious motivations for wanting to knock boots. Calling all men, doing more housework will get you more “bootay” in the boudoir!
— While psychologist John Gottman has been faithfully churning out respectable work on couples for more than 30 years, did anybody need to remind guys that they can forgo the flowers and chocolate for a mop and vacuum when it comes to wooing women?
Practically any gal can tell you that if her partner was more willing to lift a finger around the house, she’d be up for more sex and better sex at that!
— Your dreams “consist of some form of sexual-related activity.” This was seriously the headliner regarding a detailed study, shared at the 21st annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, that was done to investigate the actual nature and content of men’s and women’s dreams.
Perhaps the only noteworthy tidbit from this Universite de Montreal research is that only 8 percent of everyday dream reports contained some form of sex-related activity, with the most common type once again causing your eyes to glaze over in being so ridiculously obvious — most sex dreams involved sexual intercourse, followed by sexual propositions, kissing, and masturbation. Zzzzzz….
— Men and women are from the same planet. Thank God a University of Florida study has confirmed that both genders are not so Mars/Venus when it comes to getting in touch with their inner feelings when bonding in an intimate relationship. Such feelings trump societal gender expectations about sexual behavior, with men less likely to acquire a number of different partners and women desiring more sex when involved.
— I don’t know about you, but I’m really glad somebody spelled out that romantic relationships typically involve being monogamous and putting out. Sexual dysfunctions may be in your hormones. Italian investigators at the University of Ancona and l’Aguila have learned that most bad sex is due to hormones. Given that one’s hormones directly or indirectly regulate all human sexual functions, from desire to arousal to orgasmic response, is it any wonder that your body chemistry may be at the heart of any physical, medical or mental problems related to sexual function??
— We’ve known for years now that oral sex is prevalent amongst teens, with many opting for such intimacy because they’re under the misguided impression that oral sex is “safer” than intercourse. It’s not.
In beating this dead horse headliner, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that one study “revealed” that the emotional implications for tongue in cheek titillations frequently results in regret or feelings of guilt and manipulation, with girls twice as likely as boys to feel badly about themselves after oral sex, frequently feeling “used." The killer finding — boys were more than twice as likely as girls to say sexual activity made them feel self-confident and popular. Hmmm… or should I say mmmmm?
More than a Numbers Game
Gone are the days when the most used pick-up line was, “What’s your sign?” With HIV infections continually escalating, “What’s your favorite rubber?” is far more appropriate one-liner used to seduce a new or current lover.
For the 20th year, this past Dec. 1, World AIDS Day tirelessly bombarded us with the latest grave statistics in its efforts to increase HIV awareness and education. The American HIV epidemic appears bigger than ever imagined. The estimated number of AIDS cases in the U.S. is rising, with a new test placing the rate of HIV infection 50 percent higher than previous calculations, for a new whopping estimate of 55,000-60,000 new infections.
Kind of makes you catch your breath when you consider that, for the last decade, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has been reporting a figure of 40,000 new infections each year, and that in 2003, 1 million individuals in the U.S. were living with HIV, with approximately 25 percent unaware of their infection.
It should go without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway… When sexually active, be proactive — protect yourself and your partner(s). While sex can be regarded as a sport, this is one game you don’t want to lose.
Practicing safer sex is more important than ever — and easier than ever. Condom companies have really stepped up to the plate to help you keep things sensational and sexy, while staying healthy. For example, condoms are now available with warming lubricants and vibrating rings to enhance your sexual pleasure.
And when you consider that a condom can help a guy last longer and relieve any problems with premature ejaculation, while providing protection against sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, spending a few dollars on your favorite latex or polyurethane smock is not such a bad investment.
As better explained in my first book, The Hot Guide to Safer Sex, using a condom or dental dam can actually eroticize your efforts in the sack, making for even more orgasmic sex when you consider that protection makes for a more relaxed partner — one who is better able to embrace sexual response instead of worry about anything being transmitted.
Remember, your brain is your biggest sex organ, so make sure you’re using your head in the sack. Protection can make for more passion.
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."