Study: Female Strippers Earn More Tips When They're Ovulating

Study: Female Strippers Earn More Tips When They're Ovulating

Scientists have accumulated a substantial body of research revealing that women's mating preferences and behaviors appear to change in various ways when they are ovulating. For instance, during ovulation, women fantasize about sex more often, they are more likely to wear red or pink clothing, and they are more flirty with "bad boys." The theory uniting all of these effects argues that women have evolved to behave in ways that increase their odds of reproductive success when they are at peak fertility. 

One of the most well-known and frequently cited pieces of evidence supporting this idea is a titillating study (pun intended) of professional female lap dancers in which scientists examined the amount of money these women made in tips during different phases of the menstrual cycle [1].  Eighteen dancers participated in the study and recorded information about their work shifts and earnings over the course of a 60-day online study.

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Sex Question Friday: Do Men’s Cuckold Fantasies Stem From Low Self-Esteem?

Sex Question Friday: Do Men’s Cuckold Fantasies Stem From Low Self-Esteem?

A reader contacted me with the following hypothesis about the origin of cuckold fantasies:

“Do you want to know WHY some men feel aroused by that cuckold fantasy? It comes from a deep lack of self-worth. I feel like I'm not good enough for my girl, and so I want her to have sex with a better male. I know this goes against evolutionary programming, but it is a form of inferiority complex. I get aroused by knowing that she is mating with the alpha male.”

Thanks for submitting this interesting hypothesis. For any of my readers who are unfamiliar with cuckold fantasies, what we’re talking about here are (usually) heterosexual men who fantasize about watching their wives or girlfriends have sex with other men. These fantasies appear to be quite common, and numerous theories have been proposed to account for their origin, including an evolutionary explanation that you can read more about here.

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Video: Can Science Improve Your Sex Life?

Video: Can Science Improve Your Sex Life?

People have been looking for ways to enhance their libidos and sexual functioning for centuries; however, it turns out that most of the aphrodisiacs that have been discovered to date are not really all that effective. Indeed, to the extent that people find success with a given aphrodisiac, it likely has more to do with the power of suggestion than anything. So what can we do to enhance our sex drives and sexual performance? Check out the video below for a look at what the science has to say.

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How Are Female Sex Offenders Different From Male Sex Offenders?

How Are Female Sex Offenders Different From Male Sex Offenders?

People have a tendency to think of child sex offending as being largely, if not exclusively, attributable to male perpetrators. This likely stems, at least in part, from the way such offenders are typically portrayed in the popular media. For instance, can you think of any episodes of To Catch a Predator or similar programs that showed even one female predator? It’s not just that female sex offending of this nature is rarely portrayed, though; it also appears to be taken less seriously than male sex offending in many cases. For example, it is not uncommon for people to refer to adolescent boys as “lucky” when an adult female (especially an attractive one) is caught having sex with them. In contrast, I have yet to hear of any cases in which an adolescent female is referred to as “lucky” when an older man is caught having sex with her.

Our tendency to view child sex offenses as a male-only problem has an unfortunate consequence in that it may allow a large number of female offenders to avoid being detected. Perhaps this is why women represent just 1% of sex offenders in the United States prison system [1]. Thus, it may not be that women rarely commit such crimes—instead, it may be that women are not being caught or they are being punished less harshly. So just how common is it for women to commit sex crimes against children and adolescents? And in what ways do female and male sex offenders differ? A recent study published in the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse sought to address these questions with the goal of providing a more complete picture of the people who commit sexual offenses against minors [2].

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Sex Question Friday: Is There Any Truth To “Once A Cheater, Always A Cheater?”

Sex Question Friday: Is There Any Truth To “Once A Cheater, Always A Cheater?”

A reader submitted the following question:

“Is it a bad idea to get involved with someone who I know cheated in their last relationship? I mean, once a cheater, always a cheater, right?”

You’re certainly not alone in thinking this. It is a very common belief that someone who cheats once is bound to do it over and over again; however, the reality is that not everyone who cheats is equally likely to repeat this behavior in the future.

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The 5 Most Common Questions About Penis Size

The 5 Most Common Questions About Penis Size

I have been a sex educator for nearly a decade and, during that time, I’ve been asked a lot of questions about a lot of different things; however, year after year, I can’t help but notice that certain topics come up much more frequently than others. In light of this, I thought I would start putting together some definitive resource guides for the most commonly asked questions on these topics. Let’s start with penis size. Here are the five most common questions I tend to receive on this topic. Each question has a short answer, along with a link to a longer answer.

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Do We Actually Know What We Desire In A Romantic Partner?

Do We Actually Know What We Desire In A Romantic Partner?

Survey research has consistently found that men and women differ in the degree to which they desire certain traits in their romantic partners, with men placing relatively more value on physical attractiveness and women placing relatively more value on status and wealth. These findings have often been explained in evolutionary terms (which you can read more about here). In light of this, one might naturally assume that these stated mate preferences would predict the characteristics of the persons that men and women actually express interest in; however, research suggests that this is not necessarily the case. In fact, our stated partner preferences might say relatively little about who we’re attracted to in real life.

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5 Fantastic Videos On The Science Of Love and Attraction

5 Fantastic Videos On The Science Of Love and Attraction

For your viewing (and learning) pleasure this Valentine's Day weekend, I've put together a playlist of five of my favorite videos on the science of love and attraction. These videos span a range of topics, including what actually goes on inside our brains when we experience love and heartbreak, why we become attracted to certain people, what you can do to improve your own relationship, and much more. Enjoy!

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Why “Fifty Shades of Grey” Is Not A How-To Guide For BDSM

Why “Fifty Shades of Grey” Is Not A How-To Guide For BDSM

This Valentine’s Day weekend, a lot of couples will be heading out for dinner and a movie—and for many of them, their film of choice is likely to be the big-screen adaptation of the popular book Fifty Shades of GreyFifty Shades tells the tale of Christian Grey, a successful and sexy businessman who introduces a young female college student, Anastasia Steele, to the world of bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism, and masochism (BDSM). For some viewers of this film, it may very well be their first exposure to the topic of BDSM—and that’s rather unfortunate. Not only does Fifty Shades perpetuate false stereotypes about the people who are into BDSM, but it also presents an inaccurate portrayal of how BDSM plays out in the real world.

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Two Hearts Beat As One, Literally: Our Heartbeats Synchronize With Those Of Our Loved Ones

Two Hearts Beat As One, Literally: Our Heartbeats Synchronize With Those Of Our Loved Ones

When people talk about love, they often describe it in terms of “two hearts beating as one.” Although you might be tempted to think of this as nothing other than a cute saying, research suggests that when we love someone, our hearts literally do beat to the same rhythm. 

Consider this: in a 2011 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers examined what happened to the heart rates of both observers and performers during a fire-walking ritual [1]. During rituals of this nature, people walk over a firey bed of coals one at a time while a crowd watches on, often as a test of faith or courage.

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Sex Question Friday: Is It Possible For A Woman To Become A Virgin Again?

Sex Question Friday: Is It Possible For A Woman To Become A Virgin Again?

A female reader submitted the following question:

“If a woman does not have intercourse over a long period of time, is it possible for her hymen to grow back and make her a virgin again?”

Thanks for asking this question. There are a surprising number of myths and misconceptions about the hymen, so before I answer your specific question, let’s first step back and talk about what the hymen actually is.

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Infographic: A Guide To Staying Safe After Unprotected Sex

Infographic: A Guide To Staying Safe After Unprotected Sex

Unprotected sex happens for a wide range of reasons. For instance, sometimes condoms aren't available, but people decide to have sex anyway, while other times, a condom might slip off or be used improperly. So what should you do after situations like this in order to keep yourself safe? Check out the infographic below for helpful information, regardless of whether you're primarily concerned with potential STIs, unwanted pregnancy, or both.

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Do Asexual People Masturbate And Have Sexual Fantasies?

Do Asexual People Masturbate And Have Sexual Fantasies?

Asexuality is a sexual orientation that is often characterized as a lack of sexual attraction. Research suggests that up to 1% of the population may be asexual and, further, that this is not the result of a medical issue, sexual arousal problem, or fear of sex. Although we do not yet know the true origin of asexuality, research suggests that biological factors are likely involved. Given the nature of asexuality, one might reasonably assume that asexuals neither masturbate nor have sexual fantasies; however a new study published in The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality suggests that this is not necessarily the case and that there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to the solitary sexual expression of asexual individuals.

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Sex Question Friday: How Many Calories Do You Burn During Sex?

Sex Question Friday: How Many Calories Do You Burn During Sex?

A reader submitted the following question:

"Everyone says sex is a great form of exercise. But, realistically, how many calories can you actually expect to burn when you have sex?"

Great question! I, too, have often heard the claim that sex is one of the best forms of exercise that you can get; however, it doesn't seem to be as much of a calorie-burner as it's made out to be. Just how many calories are you likely to burn during an average sexual encounter?

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11 Scientific Facts About The Female Orgasm

11 Scientific Facts About The Female Orgasm

How much do you know about the female orgasm? Check out the list below for 11 of the most interesting facts scientists have discovered about women and their orgasms. Which one is your favorite?

1. The rule of thumb: the distance between a woman’s clitoris and her vaginal opening is associated with her likelihood of orgasm during vaginal intercourse. The smaller the distance (particularly if it's a thumb-width or less), the more likely she is to reach orgasm. Why? The clitoris receives more indirect stimulation when it’s closer to the action.

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Are Childhood Attachment Issues A Precursor To Erectile Dysfunction In Adulthood?

Are Childhood Attachment Issues A Precursor To Erectile Dysfunction In Adulthood?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is one of the most common sexual difficulties in men. Because the prevalence of it increases so much with age, ED is a sexual problem that most people tend to think of as having a biological basis, thus necessitating biological treatment (e.g., Viagra, or other ED medications). However, such a view of ED overlooks the important role that psychology plays in this sexual difficulty. Indeed, research has found that a wide range of psychological variables can trigger and/or exacerbate ED, from depression to poor body image to stress. In this article, we will take a look at one specific psychological risk factor for ED that, to date, has received relatively little empirical attention: early childhood attachment disruptions.

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Sex Question Friday: Is The “Galactic Cap” The Condom Of The Future?

Sex Question Friday: Is The “Galactic Cap” The Condom Of The Future?

A reader submitted the following question:

“I saw the Galactic Cap on a YouTube video, and really wanted to know your thoughts. It seems dangerous and ridiculous to me, but I don't have a degree in sexology or epidemiology or biology. I'd like to hear your thoughts on it!”

Thanks for this question! For those of you who aren’t familiar with the “Galactic Cap,” it’s basically a mini-condom that only covers the tip of the penis, as opposed to a traditional condom that covers the entire head and shaft. If you need a visual image, some have described it as a “shower cap” for your penis, which I think sums it up pretty well. So how does it stay in place, you ask? Easy. You glue it to your penis. Yes, you read that right.

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Have Humans Reached Their Peak Fertility Rate? (VIDEO)

Have Humans Reached Their Peak Fertility Rate? (VIDEO)

There are currently two billion children in the world. How many will there be 100 years from now?  Will that number go up, down, or stay the same, and why? In the video below, Hans Rosling takes a look at the data and the roles that religion and economics play in population change. This is one of the most interesting and entertaining TED talks I've seen in a long time, and I guarantee that the conclusions will surprise many of you.

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Rats With Jacket Fetishes? What Animal Sex Studies Reveal About The Origin Of Unusual Sexual Interests

Rats With Jacket Fetishes? What Animal Sex Studies Reveal About The Origin Of Unusual Sexual Interests

Psychologists have discovered that people can develop sexual fetishes for a wide range of objects, with some of the most common being articles of clothing, including underwear, lingerie, and stockings (for a look at some of the more unusual fetishes ever documented, check out this article). But where do these highly specific sexual interests come from in the first place? Scientists have long argued that conditioning processes might serve as a viable explanation, and a growing number studies (mostly focused on animals rather than humans) have supported this view. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the evidence.

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Sex Question Friday: Advice On Becoming A Sex Researcher

Sex Question Friday: Advice On Becoming A Sex Researcher

A reader submitted the following question:

I have a BA in psychology and just recently applied to doctoral programs in psychology and gender studies. Considering how competitive these programs are, I am currently trying to figure out what my back-up plan is. I do not want to give up on my dream of doing research on sexuality and relationships, but it seems that most research opportunities outside of graduate school are unpaid. I am having some trouble finding job opportunities related to sexuality and I was wondering if you have any suggestions or resources.

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