The American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) recognizes February as National Condom Month. For my part in helping to increase awareness of and education about condoms, I’ve put together the following set of 10 interesting facts and statistics. To learn more about National Condom Month, check out this page created by the ASHA.Read More
Vasectomies are one of the most underutilized forms of birth control, in part, because a lot of men are worried about the procedure having a number of negative effects on their sex lives. According to the American Urological Association, “many patients are concerned that vasectomy may cause changes in sexual function such as erectile dysfunction, reduced or absent orgasmic sensation, decreased ejaculate volume, reduced sexual interest, decreased genital sensation and/or diminished sexual pleasure.”
But are these concerns founded? Do guys really need to be worried about vasectomies hurting their sex lives?Read More
I’m answering more of YOUR questions about sex today. In the video below, I’ll review ten questions submitted by readers of Sex and Psychology and explore what science can tell us about each one. As in previous videos, these questions cover a very diverse range of topics, from how long people tend to spend on sex to the effectiveness of the “pull-out” method to how many people have shaved their pubic hair. The specific questions are listed below. Check out the video for the answers!Read More
February has been declared National Condom Month by the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA). For my part in helping to increase awareness and education about condoms this February, I’ve complied the following list of facts and statistics. To learn more about National Condom Month, check out this page by the ASHA.
1.) With perfect use, condoms are 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. However, perfect use is rarely achieved in the real world due to human error. When we instead consider typical use (or what happens in reality), the effectiveness rate drops to 82%. What this means is that, in practice, 18 out of 100 women who use condoms regularly over the course of a year will end up becoming pregnant.Read More
Popular media articles on adolescent sexuality usually paint a portrait of the modern American teenager as hypersexual. Among other things, these articles give the impression that teens are having sex at younger and younger ages, they’re constantly hooking up and sexting, and they’re engaging in a lot of risky sexual behavior, thanks to a diet of highly sexual movies and TV shows. By contrast, scientific research on the sex lives of adolescents suggests a very different set of conclusions. Here are 10 things you should know about the sex lives of American teenagers, according to science.Read More
Scientists have been hard at work for decades trying to develop a safe, highly effective, and reversible contraceptive for men—something akin to the birth control pill that has been available to American women since 1960. Thus far, nothing they’ve tested has been remotely ready for prime time. However, a new study just published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests that they may be nearing a breakthrough.Read More
Did you know that Lysol and Coca-Cola used to be used as contraceptives? Or that female strippers who are taking birth control pills receive dramatically different tips than strippers who aren't on hormonal contraceptives? Read on to learn more about these and other surprising things sex researchers have discovered about contraception.
1. Before birth control pills became widely available, women sometimes turned to rather unconventional methods for preventing unwanted pregnancies.Read More
Women’s behavior changes in several ways when they reach the most fertile part of their menstrual cycle--that is, when they ovulate. Among other things, research has found that ovulating women fantasize about sex more often and are more likely to wear red or pink clothing. Interestingly, ovulation also appears to change which kinds of men heterosexual women find most sexually attractive, such that they tend to be drawn to “manlier” men during peak fertility.
So what happens when women take birth control pills or other hormonal contraceptives that prevent ovulation?Read More
When it comes to birth control, women have a lot of choices, including (but not limited to) pills, patches, shots, implants, IUDs, and vaginal rings. By contrast, men currently have just two options--condoms and vasectomies--both of which are far from perfect. However, scientists around the world are hard at work trying to change this.Read More
Sex education is incredibly inconsistent throughout the United States. Some states require it, others don't. And in the states that mandate it, the information teachers are required by law to provide doesn't necessarily have to be useful, let alone correct. The fact of the matter is that American sex education is in poor shape and this is a big part of the reason why our teen pregnancy and STI rates are among the highest in the industrialized world. Check out the infographic below for a look at some frightening statistics about the current state of sex education in the U.S.Read More
The birth control pill is something that a lot of us take for granted today. It has never been more widely available or easier to access (in fact, more than 10 million women in the US are currently using it). It has never been more versatile either--dozens of different formulations of the pill have been created, thereby allowing it to meet the needs of a wide range of women. Those needs include pregnancy control and prevention, menstrual cycle regulation, and (for some) acne control. Have you ever stopped to wonder where this miracle of modern medicine came from, though?Read More
When it comes to sex, a lot of what we think of as being "normal" today was illegal and carried serious punishments in the not-too-distant past. For instance, federal law in the United States (specifically, the Comstock Law) used to prohibit the distribution of pornography, contraceptive devices (including pamphlets and information about birth control), and sex toys through the mail. This law was in effect for decades, and it had enormous implications for people's sex lives, not to mention their health. However, this is just one of many examples of how sex laws have been out of synch with people's sexual needs and desires.Read More
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 . Eighteen dancers participated in the study and recorded information about their work shifts and earnings over the course of a 60-day online study.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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!) . However, subsequent research found that soda isn’t all that effective as a contraceptive and can potentially lead to vaginal infections .Read More
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.Read More
Every Friday on the blog, I answer people's questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week's question comes from a female reader who wanted to know the following:
"Everyone talks about practicing safe sex and I do, but how safe am I when I'm using condoms and is there anything else I should be doing?"
Thanks for this great question! Condoms can indeed be very effective at preventing unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) when used properly; however, studies suggest that people overestimate how effective condoms are in practice . This means that when you're practicing "safe sex," you may not be quite as safe as you think.Read More
When it comes to selecting contraceptives, women have a lot more options than men. Women can choose from pills, patches, vaginal rings, IUDs, diaphragms, hormone injections, tubal ligations, and much more. In contrast, men pretty much only have two choices: condoms or vasectomies. However, a lot of guys aren’t in love with either of these options. Condoms have long been maligned for reducing sexual pleasure, and vasectomies are really only viable for men who are certain that they do not want future children, given that this procedure cannot always be reversed. Fortunately, men may soon have another choice: Vasalgel.Read More