Sexual Behaviour

Playboy takes aim at catcalling.

Playboy nails it with this flowchart (at bottom).

I love this approach to educating men about catcalling. It's effective without shaming, and acknowledges and validates men's sexuality without letting them off the hook for shitty behaviour.

Someone on a related Reddit thread clearly described why catcalling can feel so threatening. She invites men to imagine what it would be like to experience the following:

  • being catcalled by someone over a foot taller than them
  • who starts bothering them while they were busy
  • and then starts ordering them around or making sexual comments and won't go away
  • and is much stronger and could easily hurt them
  • and makes them feel afraid and ashamed
  • and that this happens week in, week out

Check out the entire Reddit thread here: link.

Playboy catcalling sexual harassment | Dr. Jason Winters | Sex Therapy Vancouver | Squarespace Blogging

Humans aren't the only species that engage in oral sex.

In a 2009 study, researchers described fellatio in a species of fruit bat. Oral sex appears to be rare in the animal kingdom, so it was a surprising finding. As part of the study, they used nighttime cameras to film the bats' sexual escapades. Here's an example:

A recent study found that another species of bats (Indian flying foxes) engages in oral sex, only this time they observed cunnilingus. The bats' sexual experiences were characterized by longer periods of oral sex punctuated by shorter periods of intercourse. Here's a clip from their study:

National Geographic provided a nice review of the research. You can check it out here: link.

And a snippet of the review to help explain the observed behaviour:

In the summers of 2010 and 2011, Jayabalan Maruthupandian and Ganapathy Marimuthu clocked 1,170 hours watching a colony of flying foxes near a south Indian village. They saw the bats mate 57 times, most of which involved a brief amount of penetration bracketed by longer bouts of cunnilingus. The male would fluff up his penis and sidle over to a nearby female. He craned his neck over and licked her vagina for up to a minute, mounted her for around 15 seconds, and returned to 2.5 minutes of cunnilingus.
The actual sex isn’t exactly lengthy, but as in the short-nosed fruit bat, the flying foxes prolong their liaisons with oral sex. The males bought themselves an extra 2 seconds of penetration if they spent an extra 15 seconds of cunnilingus beforehand.
So: why? There’s the obvious explanation: it makes both partners more aroused, and the extra saliva keeps everything nice and lubricated.
In the case of the Indian flying fox, Maruthupandian and Marimuthu suggest that a male could remove the sperm of past partners by licking a female’s vagina. That doesn’t explain why he would continue after having mated himself, but Maruthupandian and Marimuthu did find that he spends less time on oral sex after penetration if he spent more time on it before. This might give him the best odds of removing a competitor’s sperm but not his own. Although, as they write, “Observation at close-range is needed to find out whether the male’s tongue enters the vagina or not.”

Female sexual desire.

sexual desire kiss | Dr. Jason Winters | Sex Therapy | Blogging on Squarespace

As a follow-up to the last post on female orgasm, another fantastic article from the BBC, this one reviewing the most cutting-edge research on female desire.

The piece challenges some long-held assumptions and stereotypes, citing research that shows:

  • females may desire sex as much as males, but there seems to be more variability in their desire (especially over the menstrual cycle)
  • testosterone is almost entirely unrelated to sexual desire in females
  • sexual desire doesn't always mean a desire for penetrative sex with a partner
  • women are increasingly using porn, and there is now much more porn produced by women for women
  • low sexual desire doesn't typically reflect physiological changes; it's more often situational
  • females are as prone to sexual boredom in their relationships as males, and maybe even more so

From the BBC:

The Enduring Enigma of Female Sexual Desire
Why have scientists been slow to understand women’s sexuality, asks Rachel Nuwer.
What do women want? It’s a question that’s stymied the likes of Sigmund Freud to Mel Gibson. It has been at the centre of numerous books, articles and blog posts, and no doubt the cause of countless agonised ponderings by men and women alike. But despite decades spent trying to crack this riddle, researchers have yet to land on a unified definition of female desire, let alone come close to fully understanding how it works.
Still, we’ve come a long way from past notions on the subject, which ran the gamut of women being insatiable, sex-hungry nymphomaniacs to having no desire at all. Now, scientists are increasingly beginning to realise that female desire cannot be summarised in terms of a single experience: it varies both between women and within individuals, and it spans a highly diverse spectrum of manifestations. As Beverly Whipple, a professor at Rutgers University, says: “Every woman wants something different.”

Read the rest here: link.

Is religiosity related to porn use? It turns out, yes.

xxx porn reilgion | Dr. Jason Winters | Sex Therapy | Blogging on Squarespace

Is religiosity related to porn use? It turns out, yes.

Religiosity and social conservatism are typically associated with more traditional values, especially when it comes to sex. Rules about who, when, where, and how can be quite rigid. There's a long history of law being influenced by these rules (e.g., laws against homosexuality).

But, this fixation on rules and being "good" can backfire. The more one thinks about the things that they're not supposed to be doing, the more one tends to think about those things (if you've never heard of the white bear experiment, Google it). Fixation becomes preoccupation. And sex is already something people think about a lot.

In the linked study, the researchers looked at the relationships between proportion of people who identified as "very religious" and people who defined themselves as conservative, and frequency of Google searches for porn. They did this on a state-by-state basis.

What they found was that more religious and conservative states searched much more frequently for porn than states that are less religious and conservative.

Not at all coincidentally, a previous study showed that the most religious and conservative states have the highest subscription rates to porn sites.

The abstract:

religion and porn

 

To see the study, click here: link.

How long does the average guy last in bed?

premature ejaculation orgasm time too fast | Dr. Jason Winters | Sex Therapy | Blogging on Squarespace

Many, many men worry that they aren't able to last long enough when having sex. Their concern is two-fold:

First, and foremost, men are often afraid that they aren't sufficiently satisfying their partners. The assumption is that lasting longer is always better. The fear is that partners will leave or be critical.

Second, sexual skills are central to many men's sense of masculinity. If a guy sees himself as bad in bed, he may feel like less of a man. And because stamina is considered to be important, the inability to go and go and go can be experienced as a failure at being a man.

Now, if a guy is struggling with premature ejaculation (which has been clinically defined several different ways, the most common being ejaculation in less than a minute), that's a much different experience than a guy who is worried because he typically lasts around 5 minutes.

So, how long do guys last, on average? Turns out to be somewhere in the neighbourhood of 5-6 minutes.

Dr. Justin Lehmiller reviewed the research for his piece in Playboy:

This is How Long the Average Guy Lasts in Bed
By Justin Lehmiller
When it comes to sex, some guys worry that they don’t last long enough–and I’m not even talking about guys with premature ejaculation here. Guys who already have a lot of sexual stamina to begin with often worry that they aren’t measuring up.
It’s easy to see how men might come to this conclusion. After all, the most popular men’s magazines are constantly publishing articles with tips on how to last longer in bed, and many advertise “sexual enhancement” products designed to improve sex by delaying the male orgasm.
Then there’s porn, which gives the impression that guys should be able to keep going and going and going—and then coming and coming and coming. But that’s a topic for another article.
So what’s typical when it comes to sexual stamina, anyway? How long does it take for the average guy to ejaculate?
Let’s take a look at the research.

Read the rest here: link.

Documentary on disabilities and sex.

While we, as a society, are becoming increasingly more comfortable with sex, the sexual lives of disabled people is rarely ever acknowledged or discussed. And it seems that many within the able-bodied community are uncomfortable even thinking about it (e.g., link and link).

There has been a concerted effort to fight against stereotypes people may have about disability and sexuality. I previously posted a documentary on sex and disabilities. You can check it out here: link.

This latest project has been receiving a lot of positive attention. It's another documentary about disabilities and sex.

From Dazed

The film making us face the idea disabled people have sex
‘Yes We Fuck’ is an uncompromising look at the reality that disabled people have sex lives too. We caught up with director and disability activist Antonio Centeno to find out more
by Sirin Kale
As a society we’re becoming more accepting of sexuality in all its guises and forms – and rightly so. 2015 could be seen as the year when trans issues finally broke through into the mainstream after decades spent on the margins of society, while more and more women in particular are joining the sexually fluid revolution. And yet for all of our talk, there’s one conversation that we’re not having – about how disabled people have sex.
Spanish director and disability activist Antonio Centeno wants to tackle this prudishness head-on. His film Yes We Fuck (which is co-directed with Raúl de la Morena) is a no-holds barred look at the world of disabled sexuality, with uncompromising visuals (of people having sex) and a strong sense of moral purpose. Centeno shows human intimacy in all its forms, and what strikes you from watching the film is that the issues faced by disabled people when it comes to their sex lives aren’t so dissimilar to those faced by the rest of the population.
Watching the film, which recently showed at the British Film Institute’s Flare festival, at times makes for uncomfortable viewing. You’re discomfited by the fact that the sexuality depicted on our TVs and in popular culture almost uniformly represents one experience: that of heterosexual intimacy between two able-bodied, cis-gendered people.
Yes We Fuck is an uplifting, refreshing corrective to the narrative that disabled people are in some way sexless, made noble by the struggles they undergo to assimilate into a society that is in many ways ableist. The film isn’t perfect – sections are too long, and while Centeno wants to depict the reality of disabled people having sex, at times the camera lingers too long or in a way that feels intrusive. It’s clear that this is very much a passion project from the fledging director, and one which could perhaps have profited from tauter editing. Nonetheless, it’s rare to see a film which so profoundly makes you confront your own prejudices to recognize that we all of us share a common humanity and a common desire to express that humanity through the most natural act of all – the act of fucking, of course. 
To find why we need to get on board with the fact that disabled people fuck like the rest of us, Dazed caught up with Centeno at the BFI. Below is the transcript of our conversation, which has been edited for flow and clarity.

Read the interview here: link.

And the trailer:

Stephen Colbert on the drug flibanserin.

Last year, the drug flibanserin, trade name Addyi, was approved by the US Federal Drug and Administration, the regulatory body overseeing the approval of medical drugs (among other things). The drug is intended to treat low sexual desire in females, once other concerns are ruled out (i.e., relationship problems, anxiety, etc.).

The approval was met with major criticism, as the effectiveness appeared low and the side effects can be significant. Also, many clinicians (and researchers) argue that there are more effective, non-medication ways to treat low sexual desire.

Although there isn't good data available yet, it seems like it's not been that successful - in other words, very few prescriptions have been written for the drug.

In this clip from last fall, Colbert takes a swipe at the drug, and many would likely agree.

Vice doc: Polyamorous unicorns.

Another post on the theme of not-to-everybody's-taste. But a poignant example of sexual and identity diversity.

From the description:

When a charismatic former alcoholic named Shaft had his life changed by Burning Man, he realized that he actually identifies as a unicorn. No longer able to face the monotony of work and life in the real world, he decided to form a polyamorous and hedonistic movement with other like-minded unicorns.
Donning glittery horns and galloping through London's streets, Shaft's unicorns set about trying to create a free-love utopia.
But as the unicorn revolution begins to clash with the realities of life and love, some of the "glampede" became disillusioned, and Shaft's reasons for starting this whole thing came into question.
Is this the hedonistic, free love revolution we were promised in the 60s? Or is it as fake as the unicorn horns they wear, a desperate and clever ploy by Shaft to escape his own inner loneliness by starting a cult?


Oh Joy Sex Toy by Erika Moen.

Erika Moen is an artist and educator. She is the authour the comic strip Oh Joy Sex Toy. It started out several years ago as a sex-positive, diversity-friendly sex toy review but has expanded into all aspects of sex and sexuality. There is no topic that she's afraid of addressing. The strips are fun, subversive, educational, and visually appealing. You can read more about her here and here. Check out all her comic strips and reviews here. And a sample of her work:

how to eat pussy erika moen cunnilingus oral sex  | Dr. Jason Winters | Sex Therapy | Blogging on Squarespace

Is it possible to be a feminist and like rough sex?

rough sex feminist kink bdsm | Dr. Jason Winters | Sex Therapy | Blogging on Squarespace

The feminist movement, in its various forms, has fought long and hard against gender power inequality and the oppression of women by men (intentional and unintentional).

When it comes to sex, power is almost always at play. And in the context of consensual sexual experiences, playing with power dynamics can be hot and a fun part of sexual experiences. Rough sex is an extension of power.

For opposite sex couples, it might seem that feminism and male dominance in the bedroom are incompatible. But that's not necessarily the case, as explained in this article.

From Mashable:

Can you be a feminist and like rough sex?
By Yana Tallon-Hicks
Slapping, choking, spitting — if a woman gets off on a little consensual degradation in the bedroom, does that make her less of a feminist?
Many women who demand equal pay by day and harder spanks by night wake up feeling conflicted (and a little bruised) about their two favorite F-words: feminism and fucking.
Almost every version of feminism has been hell-bent on equalizing power structures and fighting gender-based oppression. But those feminists who are also hell-bent on bending over in the bedroom — using those very same power structures to get off — may be faced with questions about whether or not their political walk matches their pillow talk.
“I love being spat on during sex,” says Zoe, a 28-year-old graduate student I’m sipping espressos with. “The nastier the spit, the better. Does that make me a bad feminist? Do I need to burn all of my Audre Lorde books? Give back my Smith College degree?” She tosses aside a lock of hair as she laughs at the ridiculousness of her own rhetorical questions. I wonder how many times she’s caught a loogie.
Of the 1,500+ self-described “kinky” women Jennifer Eve Rehor studied in 2011, the majority were found to have participated in “at least one of the following activities for their own sensual or erotic pleasure: physical humiliation, deprivation, punishment (physical), breath play, obedience/training, verbal abuse/humiliation, other forced activities and service-oriented submission/domestic service.” They did so in the role of the receptive or submissive partner.

Read the rest here, including the ways in which kink, rough sex, and feminism can work in harmony: link.

 

 

What Google searches tell us about peoples' sex lives.

Google makes all of its search data publicly available. According to Google, 100 billion searches are done each month. That means a lot of data. And because sex is something that is searched often, there is a treasure trove of sex-related search data for the taking. 

This piece in the New York Times by economist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz digs deep into the Google search data to tell us about our anxieties and the states of our relationships. There are a couple of nifty infographics that summarize his findings. The piece is worth a read - it's fun and informative.

From the New York Times

Searching for Sex
ARE you confused by sex? I certainly am.
One of the many reasons sex is puzzling is that we lack reliable data. People lie to friends, lovers, doctors, surveys and themselves.
Three years ago, when I was a graduate student in economics, I began to write about how new data, particularly Google searches, could give us fresh insights into socially sensitive topics. Since then, many people have asked me to write about sex.
I was wary because I wanted to do more research. Now I’m finally ready to report. Call it everything you always wanted to know about sex, but didn’t have the data to ask.
Let’s start with the basics. How much sex are we having? Traditional surveys are no good at answering this question.
I analyzed data from the General Social Survey, a classic source. Heterosexual men 18 and over say that they average 63 sex acts per year, using a condom in 23 percent of them. This adds up to more than 1.6 billion heterosexual condom uses per year.

And one of the infographics: 

Google sex searches marriage sexual behavior | Dr. Jason Winters | Sex Therapy | Blogging on Squarespace

Read the rest here: link.

 

Purity balls.

Second post this week about purity balls. I can't help but be fascinated (I've posted about purity balls previously: link and link).

In many cultures, religious denominations, and families, virginity until marriage is considered sacred. Virginity is typically associated with purity, innocence, virtuosity, and thought of as a gift to a future marital partner. Loss of virginity prior to marriage is equated with being a used, cheapened, damaged, or otherwise unappealing (keep in mind this isn't the case for all people are waiting for marriage to have penetrative sex).

Women are often held to this standard much more so than men (a great example of the double standard). In some cultures, a non-virgin woman is unable to get married, and often times in those cultures, there are no options for women other than being a wife.

Purity balls are a logical extension of the abstinence-only approach in Western culture (particularly North American). If you're unfamiliar with purity balls, the following clip provides a pretty superficial glimpse. Keep in mind that it's from a mainstream American network, so it's a bit sensationalized.

Purity ball portraits.

Repost from Slate.

I really like this piece, as the way Magnusson describes his experiences shooting his subjects moves away from the judgement that typically accompanies pieces on purity balls. And the photos are pretty striking.

Striking Portraits of Fathers and the Daughters Whose Virginity They’ve Pledged to Protect By David Rosenberg

Photographer David Magnusson’s portraits of fathers with their daughters could almost pass for formal shots taken at a father-daughter dance.

Shot with a large format camera, the portraits, taken outdoors with a soft, blue-sky background are part of Magnusson’s book Puritya series of young girls who have made a pledge to keep their virginity until marriage and their fathers who pledge to help protect them during their journeys.

Magnusson admits he had a strong reaction when he first learned of the purity balls. He thought mostly of gun-wielding fathers trying to protect their daughters. He began to explore the idea of the balls further, reading everything he could find, and reaching out to various balls to see about photographing the fathers and daughters.

He made four trips to the United States to meet with and photograph the fathers and daughters and said the more he learned and met with the participants the more surprised he was about his initial prejudices.

“I had the idea to photograph the portraits to illustrate how our interpretation of the world—and photography as well—has to do a lot with our own values,” he said. “Many of the instantaneous, strong emotional reactions occur when we experience a clash with our own values and what we don’t’ understand.”

Magnusson said it took around six months of reaching out to contacts before he was finally invited to Louisiana to meet with participants. He took seven portraits during that first trip and attended two balls.

“I showed portraits on stage with a tuxedo rented from Al’s formal wear talking about my work,” he said. “I was clear from the start of my intention of trying to visualize the father-daughter relationship.”

He began interviewing the people he photographed and said that also helped shape his ideas of the decisions the young girls had made along with their fathers.

“When you start listening to what separate individuals who are part of a group have to say, it suddenly becomes about people and not just about a group mentality. There are huge diversities within the group and reasons for why they choose these ceremonies.”

He learned that many of the young women were independent thinkers and their fathers were simply trying to protect their loved ones the best way they knew how. Magnusson sent portraits to everyone who participated in the project and said they were all very happy with the results.

“I find it so interesting exactly the same photograph can provoke such a different reaction from a viewer with a different background,” Magnusson said.

Purity, published by Bokförlaget Max Ström is Magnusson’s first book and also his first major solo exhibition. He said had he known the project would take up four years of his life, he might have been terrified to begin it. He did, however, know when to stop working on the project. “You realize if you continue you will change your project but not necessarily improve it,” he said. “You can change it the rest of your life but you hit a point when it’s done and ready to be displayed and if you continue working on it you will turn it into something different.”

See the rest of the photos here.

OMGYes: New project and program to turbo boost female sexual pleasure.

This project and web-based service appears to be really promising.

It's a collaboration between some entrepreneurs and researchers at Indiana University (home of the Kinsey Institute).

OMGYes looks to be a slick, engaging, and richly informative educational tool. Its purpose is to increase women's sexual pleasure through a series of online videos and interactive experiences. Subscribers (and their partners) learn diverse skills and techniques, which are based on research and the experiences of the OMGYes women.

The most interesting part of the program looks to be the interactive video and touchpad manual stimulation component. Subscribers learn how to stimulate the various OMGYes women's genitals using the trackpad; the OMGYes software (and OMGYes women) provides real-time feedback.

Here's the intro video:

Dr. Stephen Snyder, a sex therapist in New York, wrote a piece published by Huffington Post, about his experiences test-driving the interactive learning tools.

"Yeah, that's it! Mmmm . . . that's GOOD!"
My computer is talking to me, whispering words of encouragement as I trace big circles with my finger on my trackpad. My cursor grazes over the vulva of the woman lying before me onscreen. 
Her name is Amber. Amber likes a circular stroke on the upper right corner of her vulva next to her clitoris. 
I've just finished watching a video where she demonstrates the technique on herself. And now the program has loaded an "interactive" module, for me to try it on her. 
Tentatively, not knowing quite what to expect, I click "Begin." 
Amber's vulva, freshly shaved and beautifully lit, appears on the screen. A delicate white arrow traces a circle in the exact spot where I'm supposed to start. Hesitating at first, I press the trackpad, and a cursor appears on Amber's vulva. As we approach Amber's clitoris the image morphs a bit, and her clitoral hood stretches towards my cursor. 
We are suddenly connected -- her vulva and my finger.

Check it out the full article here: link.

It's also worth visiting the OMGYes website, even if you aren't interested in becoming a subscriber. There are a bunch of videos (NSFW) and demonstrations of the interactive tool, as well as some basic resources. Link.

Man with bionic penis to lose virginity with dominatrix who once ran for parliament.

File this one away in news of the extremely uncommon.

From i100 at the Independent (in its entirety - link):

A man whose penis was ripped off in a road accident, and who has subsequently received surgery to fit an 8-inch bionic penis, is to lose his virginity to an “award winning” dominatrix who unsuccessfully ran for parliament.
Mohammed Abad, from Edinburgh, was run over when he was six years old in Huddersfield, in 1978. During the accident his penis was sliced off as he was dragged 600ft by a car.
Mr Abad had surgery to fit a fully functional 8 inch bionic penis in 2012. The organ has two tubes which inflate when he presses a button on his testicle.
Abad said:
“I have waited long enough for this — it’ll be a great start to the new year.
My penis is working perfectly now so I just want to do it. I’m really excited. I can’t wait for it to finally happen.”
Mr Abad also says he dreams of one day becoming a father.
He will meet up with sexual freedom campaigner Charlotte Rose in London this week for a dinner date.
Rose, a 35-year-old who won the British Erotic Award for ‘Sex Worker of the Year’ in 2013, ran for MP in the Clacton by-election in October 2014 and the Rochester and Strood by-election the following month as an independent on a platform of sexual freedom.
Rose, a mother of two, said she will waive her usual £200-an-hour fee:
“I am so honoured that he chose me to take his virginity.
We plan to have a dinner date so we can get to know each other and then two hours of private time. I’m not charging him.
I’m happy to help him build up confidence.
Hopefully he can then find a lovely lady to settle down with.”

Understanding consent: The tea metaphor.

Passed along by Joey last term (thanks!).

Over the last few years, there has been increased focus on the process of communicating consent. I've posted about it previously: link.

A while back, someone authoured and shared a metaphor for consent using tea. I think I remember seeing it on Reddit. Recently, an animated video clip was created from the original text. It's not a perfect metaphor, but it's pretty damn good nonetheless.


Woman tricked female friend into having sex by pretending to be a man.

Not often that you hear stories like this. Wowzer.

From Guardian:

Woman who pretended to be man to trick friend into sex jailed for eight years
Gayle Newland sentenced to eight years in prison for disguising her appearance and persuading woman to wear blindfold while they had sex.
A woman who duped her friend into having sex by pretending to be a man for two years has been sentenced to eight years in prison.
Gayle Newland, 25, of Willaston, Cheshire, disguised her appearance and voice, and persuaded the woman to put on a blindfold when they met up.
They had sex about 10 times until the complainant took off her mask and saw Newland wearing a prosthetic penis.
Sentencing, Judge Roger Dutton said Newland was “an intelligent, obsessional, highly manipulative, deceitful, scheming and thoroughly determined young woman”. 
Newland claimed her accuser, also 25, always knew she was pretending to be a man as they engaged in role play while struggling with their sexuality.

Read the rest here: link.

 

Penis size: Does it matter?

First contribution to AskMen.com: more to come.

Does Penis Size Matter?
How Big Is Normal? And Do Women Really Care? Get The Answers Here
by Dr. Jason Winters
Penis size is a major source of anxiety for a lot of guys. The anxiety can be bad enough that it completely undermines their self-confidence as sex partners. This is understandable given the importance of the penis size in many men’s minds. Despite this very real feeling concern, is penis size that important when it comes down to doing the dirty?
What Exactly Is Average?
Penis size, much like most human traits, follows the bell curve. This means that almost all guys fall within the normal range.  Very few men have penises that would be considered particularly small or large. At one end of the penis size spectrum is congenital micropenis, defined as approximately 2.5 inches or less in length, fully erect. About half of one percent of men would fall into this category. At the other end of the spectrum is someone like Jonah Falcon, the man who currently holds the record for the largest penis. His penis is 13.5 inches erect, making it extremely difficult if not impossible to have penetrative sex. So what’s the average?

Read the rest here: link