Erectile dysfunction or ED is one of the most common sexual difficulties experienced by men. As with most sexual difficulties, there are numerous potential causes, including some that are biological, psychological, and social. However, a growing amount of research suggests that, in many cases, ED is a function of lifestyle. Moreover, simply by getting more exercise, men may be able to reduce their risk of developing ED and resolve existing erectile problems at the same time.Read More
In the popular media, it’s easy to find claims of a rising “epidemic” of erectile dysfunction in young men. For example, this article argues that the rate of ED in young men has increased 1000% in the last decade alone—though, problematically, no research is cited to back it up, which makes this a very questionable claim. So what does the science say on this subject? Are erectile difficulties really rising at a dramatic rate in young guys? Let’s take a look.Read More
One of the most popular stereotypes of male sexuality is that men want sex all of the time because they're just "wired" that way. In other words, sex is seen as a largely biological function for men, with their emotional and psychological states having little to do with it. This stereotype can be harmful because it can make a guy start to wonder what's wrong with him when he doesn't want sex but his partner does--and to the extent that this becomes a chronic source of concern, it can create performance anxiety and detract from his ability to become and stay aroused in the future. This is but one of the many reasons why it's important for us to rethink our assumptions about male sexuality.Read More
What do heterosexual women find attractive about the male body? A new study suggests that signs of muscularity and upper body strength are particularly important, while height and weight seem to play much smaller roles.Read More
Two people can have sex fantasies about the same activity, but the way that specific activity plays out isn’t necessarily going to be the same from one person to the next. In fact, it might be very, very different. For example, if two people who had sexual fantasies about threesomes described those fantasies to you in detail, it’s quite possible that they might bear little resemblance to one another beyond the number of participants involved. One individual, for example, might describe wanting to be the center of attention and engaging in sex with two people they know extremely well; by contrast, another individual might desire a threesome with two strangers in which everyone participates equally.
What accounts for such great variability in fantasy content? I think it’s a reflection of our tendency to construct sexual fantasies that meet our unique psychological needs. A new study I published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior (co-authored by Dr. David Ley and sex advice columnist Dan Savage) supports this idea.Read More
One of the most common stereotypes about straight men’s same-sex friendships is that they’re lacking in emotional depth. Their friendships are seen as revolving around shared activities like watching football or going hunting and fishing—not sitting around and talking about their feelings. Though extremely popular, a new study suggests that this characterization is inaccurate, at least among younger guys today.Read More
Most people think of orgasms as a positive experience—one they look forward to repeating time and again. However, this isn’t true for people who experience something known as post-orgasmic illness syndrome, or POIS for short.
POIS is a rare medical condition that, for the most part, seems to affect men and involves getting sick for up to one week after each orgasm.Read More
I recently blogged about a study that examined women’s experiences with orgasm during vaginal intercourse. The results revealed that question wording is crucial when it comes to understanding how often women tend to orgasm during this activity: when the question specifically includes clitoral stimulation, women’s reported frequency of orgasm (51-60% of the time) is much higher than when the question specifically excludes clitoral stimulation (21-30% of the time).
There’s another aspect of this study worth highlighting, though, which is how heterosexual men responded when given the same questions about their perceptions of the orgasmic experiences of women. Do men recognize the important role of clitoral stimulation in their partners’ orgasms? And how accurate are they when it comes to estimating how often their partners are reaching orgasm? Let’s take a look.Read More
Most people have had dreams about sex before. However, there’s a lot of variability in the kinds of sex dreams that people have. So where does all of that variation come from? Psychologists believe it’s because our sex dreams are, to some extent, a reflection of our waking sexual interests. In other words, the things that we’re attracted to in our everyday life have a tendency to carry over into our dreams. As some evidence of this, a recent study examined how men’s actual sexual behaviors and the type of porn they watch are related to the content of their sex dreams.Read More
The penis is a fascinating piece of human anatomy; however, it turns out that most of us don't actually know all that much about it. So, in the video below, I've compiled a list of seven of the most interesting facts about the penis--all tastefully displayed against the backdrop of some very phallic-looking fruits and vegetables. Because why not?Read More
One of the most popular stereotypes of male sexuality is that guys want sex ALL the time. They're always in the mood because they're constantly thinking about it. After all, men think about sex once every seven seconds, right? Er, well, not exactly. Research has found that men don't think about sex nearly as often as that (it's more like twice per hour, at least among college-age guys).
Another common stereotype of male sexuality is that sex and emotion are totally separate for guys. In other words, it's widely believe that men's sexual desire doesn't have a whole lot to do with their emotional connection to their partners. As it turns out, though, research suggests that this belief isn't true either.Read More
A reader asked the following question:
“Are circumcised men less likely to have premature ejaculation?”
People have long been curious about what effects circumcision (or removal of the penile foreskin) has on men's sexual functioning in general, as well as their overall penile sensation; however, we’ll stick to your question here and look at whether this procedure is linked specifically to premature ejaculation.
As it turns out, a scientific review paper published earlier this year explored this very questionRead More
As you might imagine, in my work as a sex educator, questions about penises--and especially about penis size--come up all the time. As such, I thought it might be helpful to put together a resource guide that addresses some of the most commonly asked questions on this topic. So, here are my answers to the five most popular questions I've encountered about penis size.
1.) “What is the average penis size?”Read More
A lot of people assume that men only watch porn that is consistent with their sexual identity—in other words, that straight guys only watch straight porn, while gay guys only watch gay porn. However, research suggests that this isn’t actually the case and that there’s a lot of “identity-discrepant” porn viewing going on among men.Read More
In the United States today, most male infants are circumcised. Many in the medical community strongly support this practice, pointing to research finding a link between circumcision and better health outcomes. Specifically, studies suggest that men who are circumcised have a lower risk of developing urinary tract infections, contracting STIs, and developing penile cancer.
On the surface, that might sound like a pretty convincing set of reasons to support routine male circumcision. However, a closer look at the evidence reveals that the story isn't quite as simple as that.Read More
Last week, I was talking in class about differences in how men and women use Tinder and other online dating apps. In the midst of this class discussion, a student asked why so many straight men who use these apps send unsolicited or unwanted photos of their penises to women. This led to a long, but fascinating discussion that I thought readers of the blog might be interested in, too.Read More
A reader submitted the following question:
“I wonder, does the penis get any smaller with age? In other words, does the penis shrink as men get older?”
Thanks for this great question! If you try searching Google for the answer, you’ll quickly come across lots of articles saying that this does indeed occur—however, none of those articles actually cite any research to back up their claims. Instead, they rely on the opinions of physicians and other medical experts. That's all well and good, but I always like to have data. So, I did some digging.Read More
A study from the 1980s found that heterosexual men who viewed images of Playboy and Penthouse centerfolds reported less love for their romantic partners than men who saw images of abstract art . Since then, this study has been cited frequently as evidence of the damaging effects of porn. However, I’ve always had some concerns about this study and everything that has been made of it in the media, which I expressed a few years back on my blog (see here). It turns out that there’s now even more reason for skepticism in light of the fact that a group of researchers who just tried to replicate this finding couldn't.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
A heterosexual man’s interest in using condoms depends upon a lot of things, including his overall attitudes toward condoms, his perceived ability to use them effectively, and whether or not his partner is on the pill or using another form of birth control. Interestingly, another factor that seems to affect men’s willingness to use condoms is the perceived attractiveness of their partners. According to a new study published in the journal BMJ Open, the better-looking straight men perceive a female partner to be, the less likely they are to want to use condoms with her.Read More