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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Infographic: The Future Of Contraception

Infographic: The Future Of Contraception

Contraception is not a recent invention--in fact, birth control has been around since the time of the ancient Egyptians. However, the nature of contraception has changed dramatically over the years, and it's something that continues to evolve. Check out the infographic below for a look at some of the major changes in birth control that have occurred during the last few centuries, as well as a peek into the future. For more information about the latest developments in contraception, see here and here.

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The Birds And The Bees: Do Parents Give Different Sex Talks To Boys And Girls?

The Birds And The Bees: Do Parents Give Different Sex Talks To Boys And Girls?

“The birds and the bees” talk is an important, but oftentimes awkward milestone in children’s lives during which their parents explain sex. Although public opinion polls have found that most parents report having some form of this talk with their kids, we do not know all that much about the content of these talks or how they differ when given to male versus female children. A new study published in the journal Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences finds that parents seem to explain “the birds and the bees” in very different ways based upon the sex of their child and, further, that these explanations are consistent with evolutionarily evolved mating strategies.

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Sex Question Friday: Is There A Link Between Cuckold Fantasies And Premature Ejaculation?

Sex Question Friday: Is There A Link Between Cuckold Fantasies And Premature Ejaculation?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a male reader who asked the following:

“I ejaculate prematurely when I am with my wife, but I last for hours with other women. I am really turned on by my wife and we talk dirty to each other about cuckold stuff. I also know she has had sex with another man/men even though we are married, but she will never speak of the extent of her sexual escapades. So, what is my problem? Can you explain why I might have premature ejaculation with her but not other women?”

Thanks for this interesting question. Before you start labeling this situation a “problem,” let’s take a look at what the research says.

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Sex, Drugs, and HIV (VIDEO)

Sex, Drugs, and HIV (VIDEO)

In this TED talk, Elizabeth Pisani argues that, in order to prevent the spread of HIV, we need to start making policy decisions that are rational for public health instead of continuing business as usual and doing what is politically rational. Pisani uses scientific data to show how sex and drug policies that are made for political reasons can actually undermine our ability to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Although Pisani's talk is going on five years old, I'm sharing it because her points still very much ring true. Indeed, in the last five years, politicians in the U.S. and many other parts of the world have (sadly enough) not significantly changed their positions on sex and drugs, and many of these positions remain counterproductive . Check out Pisani's full talk below for more on the importance of basing policy decisions on science instead of politics.

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Scientists Conclude That Squirting Is Just “An Involuntary Emission Of Urine”

Scientists Conclude That Squirting Is Just “An Involuntary Emission Of Urine”

Female ejaculation is one of those topics that consistently generates a lot of debate among scientists and laypersons alike. The debate isn’t so much about whether female ejaculation is real (it is, and we've known about it for a long time), but rather what the nature of the fluid is and where it comes from. To sum up this debate, the main question has really been: is it just urine, or something else? Previous attempts to answer this question have produced conflicting results because it seems as though there is not just one type of female ejaculation. That is, there are some women who occasionally ejaculate a small amount of a milky fluid during orgasm, whereas others have been described as “squirting” or “gushing” copious amounts of a thin, watery fluid. Thus, in order to provide a definitive answer regarding the nature of female ejaculation, we have to first be clear on which type of ejaculate we’re talking about. A new study just published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine focused on the nature of the “squirting” type and concluded that this particular form of female ejaculation is pretty much just urine after all.

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Sex Question Friday: How Many Men Have Paid For Sex?

Sex Question Friday: How Many Men Have Paid For Sex?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a reader who wanted to know the following:
 

“How many men have paid for sex with a prostitute before? Is this becoming more or less common?”

Buying sex is a behavior that appears to have decreased among men in recent years. Just how much have things changed? As a starting point, consider this:

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The 10 Sexiest Stories Of 2014

The 10 Sexiest Stories Of 2014

For my final post of the year, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the most read articles on Sex and Psychology in 2014 to see what you all found to be the most, um, stimulating. Combined, the ten posts that follow were read more than a quarter-million times and they represent an incredibly diverse range of content. It appears that my readers were quite interested in learning about penis size this year (3 entries dealt with that topic); however, as was the case with last year’s list, it appears that you all especially enjoy learning about the more unusual side of sex. Here are the 10 sexiest stories of 2014:

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10 Surprising Facts About Birth Control

10 Surprising Facts About Birth Control

Did you know that Lysol and Coca-Cola used to be used as contraceptives? Or that usage of birth control pills is related not only to what women pay attention to when watching pornography, but also to the amount of money that a female stripper makes in tips? Read on to learn more about these and other surprising facts about the past, present, and future of birth control.

1. In the not-too-distant past, some women used to flush out their vaginas with Coca-Cola after sex in an attempt to prevent pregnancy. Believe it or not, there was even a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1985 claiming that this technique actually worked (and not only that, but it also claimed that Diet Coke worked better than regular Coke!) [1]. However, subsequent research found that soda isn’t all that effective as a contraceptive and can potentially lead to vaginal infections [2].

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Sex Question Friday: Why Can’t I Maintain Sexual Interest In One Person?

Sex Question Friday: Why Can’t I Maintain Sexual Interest In One Person?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a male reader who wanted to know the following:

“I seem to have a problem with sexual arousal and women I am emotionally attached to. When I met my wife, we were very sexually active, but that dwindled as we got deeper into our relationship. I thought at first maybe it was my age, but I have found myself aroused over female friends and acquaintances. The good thing is this has never developed into an affair but I would like to figure out what is wrong with me so that my wife and I can be intimate. This problem predates my wife and in the past, my girlfriends would have to at least pretend to indulge a fantasy of a threesome of them being intimate with someone else (dirty talk about it) just for me to get aroused. So I believe there is a correlation between arousal and degrees of familiarity.”

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‘Tis The Season For… Risky Sex?

‘Tis The Season For… Risky Sex?

Research has found that one of the biggest seasonal peaks in sexual activity occurs around the winter holidays. This makes sense because this time of year offers more opportunities for sex than usual. Part of the reason for this is because many people end up taking extended vacations—but another reason is because people attend a lot of holiday parties that seem to get them in the mood for more than just eggnog. For instance, a recent national U.S. survey by Trojan Condoms and Harris Interactive revealed that 24% of Americans reported hooking-up as a result of an office holiday party at least once before. However, it is important to recognize that while people may be having more sex over the winter holidays, they aren’t necessarily practicing safer sex.

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Third Blogiversary of Sex and Psychology

Third Blogiversary of Sex and Psychology

Sex and Psychology is officially three years old! When I first started this blog, I never dreamed that it would reach this level of popularity. I guess I did not realize how much demand there was for research-backed information about sex; however, this is one case where I am glad I was wrong! 

Thank YOU for reading the blog, sharing the articles, submitting your questions, and weighing in with your comments. Sex and Psychology is the most rewarding aspect of my job and, at this point, I can’t imagine my life without it. I hope you’re looking forward to another year of great sex [research] as much as I am! In the meantime, here are some fun facts and statistics for your reading pleasure. 

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The Importance Of Condom Marketing Strategies (VIDEO)

The Importance Of Condom Marketing Strategies (VIDEO)

In countries ravaged by HIV where access to contraceptives and barriers is limited, it is not uncommon for donor agencies from around the world to come in and flood the market with free or low-cost condoms. However, it turns out that simply making these condoms available is no guarantee that people will actually use them; rather, the condoms also need to be marketed effectively to the people who will actually be using them. This means that donor agencies can't simply assume that the same marketing strategies that work in their home country will work elsewhere. In the brief video below, Amy Lockwood highlights the importance of condom-marketing strategies by looking at the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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Sex Question Friday: How Often Do Married Couples Have Sex?

Sex Question Friday: How Often Do Married Couples Have Sex?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a reader who wanted to know the following:

“Is there any good data on how often married people have sex, on average, at different ages, or at different stages of their marriage? Or how often, for example, on average, married people in the 40s have sex? I am sure there is an immense range of variation here, but it would help to have some kind of reference point, at least, for gauging where in the spectrum one's own experiences lie. And I think this must be a fairly urgent question for a fairly large number of people, especially in marriages where there is a significant desire gap between the two partners.”

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The Story Of The Condom (Infographic)

The Story Of The Condom (Infographic)

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is an organization that works to enhance the sexual and reproductive health of women and young people all around the world. One of the ways they do this is by helping to ensure that government and non-government organizations in low- and middle-income countries have access to safe, reliable, and cost-effective contraceptives, including condoms. However, it may surprise you to learn all of the steps that goes into ensuring the safety and reliability of the contraceptives that become part of the UNFPA program. Check out the infographic below to learn more about the process for condoms in particular. I guarantee that you'll have a much greater appreciation for the work that the UNFPA does and the respect and concern it shows for the people it serves.

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