It’s that time of year when many of us start a frantic search for the perfect holiday gift for a significant other. Despite putting a lot time, effort, and money into buying a present, a lot of us find that is quickly forgotten and, at best, brings only temporary happiness. You might be able to avoid that outcome this year—and potentially improve your relationship at the same time—by instead giving your partner a gift that promotes touch and intimacy.Read More
For all of my readers celebrating Thanksgiving today, don't forget to give thanks for sex! Why? Research has found that sex is good for us in numerous ways, both physically and psychologically. In this post, I've pulled together a list of seven reasons to be thankful for sex today (and every other day of the year).
1. Sex is a multi-purpose activity--one that allows us to meet a wide range of needs. Believe it or not, scientists have identified at least 237 distinct reasons/motivations for having sex! Not only is sex a fun and pleasurable way to pass the time, but it's also a potential way to reproduce, to demonstrate love and affection, and to find relief (studies have found that, for couples, having sex on one day is linked to feeling less stress the following day). As you can clearly see, sex has the potential to do a lot for us.Read More
As part of the study abroad course I’m currently teaching on Sex and Culture in the Netherlands, I’ve done some research into what sex laws look like over here. As I wrote in previous posts about this class, two of the ways that laws in the Netherlands are unique compared to the United States are that prostitution is legal and comprehensive sex education is mandated. However, those are just a couple of the most interesting differences. Here are a few more:
1.) Sex and the disabled. The Netherlands doesn’t just have legal prostitution—they also have government-subsidized prostitution for certain segments of the population. Specifically, disabled citizens are eligible to receive government assistance to hire sex workers. Why? Because sex is seen as a right—something that everyone who wants to participate in should be able to enjoy. Also, it’s something that’s seen as good for people’s mental and physical health.Read More
What would it be like if prostitution were legal? If you're from the United States or any other part of the world where sex work is (largely) prohibited by law, this might be a very difficult thing to imagine. However, if you look to countries where sex work is legal today, you can see that there are actually several different forms it can take. For example, in Switzerland, they’ve opened up drive-in sex garages, which you can learn more about here. And in the Netherlands (where I'm teaching a study abroad course on sex and culture at the moment), they have walk-up sex windows in the Red Light District.Read More
Hello from Amsterdam! Today is the first day of a class I’m teaching on Sexuality and Culture in the Netherlands. I’m confident I could not have picked a better place to teach my very first study abroad course. Amsterdam is, well, just an awesome city—but it’s also a fascinating place to go learn about cross-cultural differences in sexuality for a couple of weeks. Here's why.Read More
Pornhub recently released their annual year-in-review of users’ viewing habits and, as usual, the results were fascinating. Among other things, they reported that nearly 92 billion videos were viewed on their site in 2016 (to put that number in context, that’s the equivalent of each person on earth watching 12.5 videos). In addition, the most popular porn-watching times were between 11 PM to 1:00 AM (or “fappy hour,” as they call it), and the most popular search term overall on the site was “lesbian” (for the second year in a row) You can check out the full report here in all its glory, but if you’re just after a few highlights, here are some of the things that stood out to me during my review of the data.Read More
As 2016 comes to a close, let's take a look back at this year's ten most read articles on Sex and Psychology. The following posts represent an incredibly diverse range of content and, combined, have been read well over a half-million times! There were quite a few similarities to last year's list--in fact, the top five articles from last year appeared somewhere on the list again this year. Like 2015, articles related to anal sex continued to be especially popular, as were articles that addressed questions submitted by readers of the blog (in fact, seven of the top ten articles were Q&As!).Read More
Sometimes, science makes us laugh before it makes us think--and this is precisely why the Ig Nobel awards were founded back in 1991. The goal of these awards is to recognize scientific achievements that might sound silly or absurd at first, but that ultimately yield useful knowledge and challenge us to think differently about the world.
I have a sneaking suspicion that one of the contenders for the next Ig Nobel competition will be a new paper published in the journal PLOS ONE, which explores what the faces of humans and the rear ends of chimpanzees have in common.
Yep, that's really what they studied. But please bear with me--I promise, it's a funny story that tells us something fascinating about both sex and psychology.Read More
A lot of people decorate with mistletoe around the Christmas holiday. Many hang it from the ceiling or over a door and offer kisses to those who stand under it. But have you ever wondered why? How did mistletoe come to be associated with kissing in the first place? Here’s what we know, along with some other interesting trivia about what many consider to be the most romantic Christmas symbol.Read More
Sex and Psychology is officially five years old! When I first started this blog in 2011, I had no idea what kind of response it would receive, but I couldn't be more thrilled with the results. I am so pleased that Sex and Psychology has become such a widely read and referenced resource for scientifically-based information on sex and sexuality.
Thank YOU for everything you do to support the site, including reading and sharing the articles, submitting your questions, and weighing in with your comments. Sex and Psychology is the single most rewarding aspect of my professional career and I just 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.Read More
We've arrived at that point in the year when a lot of folks start searching frantically for the perfect holiday gift for a significant other. All too often, many of us find that we put a lot time, effort, and money into a gift that is quickly forgotten and brings only temporary happiness. You might be able to avoid that outcome this year--and potentially improve your relationship at the same time--by instead giving your partner a gift that promotes touch and intimacy.
As I have previously written, touch is one of the keys to a happy and healthy long-term relationship. Unfortunately, many couples find that, over time, they don't touch each other nearly as much as they used to. This can have the effect of making you feel more distant from your partner both physically and psychologically, which can potentially contribute to relationship problems. However, adding more touch back into your love life can not only help resolve these issues, but prevent future problems from arising.
So what can you do if you if you want to introduce a little more touch into your love life? I have two suggestions for you, both of which also happen to make perfect holiday gifts!Read More
If you’re anything like me, your newsfeed has probably been dominanted with articles about the popular gaming app Pokémon GO for the past few weeks. Most of the stories to emerge so far have focused on how this augmented reality game is affecting the everyday lives of users. For instance, among other things, it is helping many folks to get more exercise and lose weight, which is great. At the same time, though, it has also (sadly) contributed to at least a few cases of distracted driving that ended in car crashes.
However, one thing you may not have heard much about yet is how Pokémon GO is affecting people's sex lives. Yep, you read that right.
As you'll see below, there have been a number of rather surprising sexual implications of the Pokémon GO phenomenon that the creators of the game probably never anticipated.Read More
For your reading pleasure this weekend, I've compiled a list of ten fun and interesting sex facts that you can share with your friends. Enjoy!
1. Nocturnal orgasms aren’t just a male phenomenon—many women have them too! In Alfred Kinsey’s groundbreaking research on female sexuality, he found that 37% of the women he surveyed had at least one such orgasm by their mid-40s. Read more about female nocturnal orgasms here.Read More
History is full of examples of governmental and religious authorities going to great lengths to regulate people’s sex lives. Of course, these efforts continue in the modern world--however, sex today isn't regulated to quite the same extent as it was in the past, at least in the Western world.
By today’s standards, many of the older laws—and their corresponding punishments—seem, well, downright absurd. Below are five such examples drawn from the book, Sex and Punishment: Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire by Eric Berkowitz.Read More
As 2015 comes to a close, let's take a look back at this year's most read articles on Sex and Psychology. The ten posts that follow represent an incredibly diverse range of content and, combined, have been read more than 400,000 times! As you'll see, articles that addressed sex questions took most of the spots on the list. There were quite a few similarities to last year's list, but whereas articles related to penis size were especially popular in 2014, articles related to anal sex were especially popular in 2015.Read More
Sex and Psychology is officially four years old! When I first started this blog in 2011, I had no idea what kind of response it would receive, but I couldn't be more thrilled with the outcome. I am so pleased that Sex and Psychology has become such a widely read and referenced resource for scientifically-based information on sex and sexuality.
Thank YOU for reading and sharing the articles, submitting your questions, and weighing in with your comments. Sex and Psychology is perhaps the single 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.Read More
The holiday shopping season is rapidly coming to a close, but a lot of folks aren't quite finished and some haven't even started yet. If you're in need of shopping inspiration for the sexy people in your life, let me make things easy for you by sharing my updated annual list of sex-themed gift ideas (mostly) inspired by science for everyone on your list, from lovers, to friends, to lucky strangers in a White Elephant or Naughty Santa gift exchange.Read More
For those of you celebrating Thanksgiving this week, don't forget to be thankful for sex! Scientists have discovered that sex is linked a wide range of benefits for both body and mind. Below, I highlight just 7 of them; however, there are many, many more...
1. Studies have found that frequent orgasms are associated with better physical and psychological health. As if that's not enough, research has also found that frequent orgasms are linked to a longer lifespan !Read More
Despite major concerns about the effectiveness and side effect profile of flibanserin (also known as "Addyi"), the drug so many have misleadingly referred to as "female Viagra," it is coming soon to a pharmacy near you. There's a lot I have to say about this, but I'll let Stephen Colbert do the talking for me today. He recently gave the drug his signature treatment on The Late Show, in which he highlighted some of the major limitations of this drug and brilliantly skewered the pharmaceutical company that rushed it through the approval process before cashing out with $1 billion. Check out the full segment below and enjoy!Read More
During the last few decades, sex toys have undergone a major transformation. Manufacturers have gone from producing toys with extremely utilitarian designs to those that pay a lot of attention to aesthetics in an attempt to provide a more lifelike look and feel. But that’s not the only way sex toys have changed. Sex toy manufacturers have increasingly begun to develop products that cater to persons with all kinds of unusual sexual interests. In this article, we’ll take a look at five of the more, um, interesting sex toys I’ve ever come across.Read More